Curse of Strahd

The Creeping Horror

{Compiler’s note – Several pages of the manuscript are missing here.}

..climbed down the stone stairway into the basement of the house. The basement had been worked: it was not a natural opening. I will not venture to guess how much time, effort and expense went into building the elaborate underground redoubt.

Lady Arimaka and the cleric led the way. They seemed to know where they were headed through the winding passages beneath the house. As we approached our intended destination, they seemed to lose their nerve more and more. Shortly before the stairwell leading to the lower level, she insisted that stop a moment to rest.

She was deaf to entreaties that such a pause left the group exposed to attacks or that we were not terribly injured. She and the cleric were extremely reluctant to continue.

Nonetheless, we persisted. Even so, Lady Arimaka and the cleric grew visibly more nervous until finally, they refused to move. The way forward was barred by a metallic grate, and we were unable to move it.

Through the grate, we could see that the room was roughly rectangular. The room was edged by a five-foot ledge that gave way to a pool of water, with an island rising from the middle of the pool. We could vaguely make out some sort of altar in the middle of the island. The room had a second entrance, so we backtracked and entered there.

A closer examination of the altar demonstrated that it was caked with rust red stains. The pool was not deep, but upon touching, hooded apparitions appeared on the ledge and began chanting “One must die” in ominous tones. From the corner of the room, a large mound which we had mistaken for a refuse heap began to move and slowly shifted towards us.

The stench was overpowering. Elga attempted to slash it with her axe, but the mass formed a crude pseudopod and dealt her a blow that sent her flying across the room. It then continued its slow advance towards us.

Lady Arimaka and the cleric screamed and ran through the door, while Elga, the monk and I attempted an orderly retreat. We continued to attack it as we withdrew, but our attacks were largely ineffective.

Lady Arimaka and the cleric reached the attic but the house itself seemed possessed by a furious desire to push us back into its bowels. The stove belched poisonous fumes at them and weird, eldritch blades sprang out of the doorway to cut off retreat.

Elga and the monk caught up with the dwarves in the children’s room while Adran stubbornly continued to ineffectively shoot at the creature. The…

{Compiler’s note – though the manuscript does continue, the material appears to have been exposed to water and garbage, rendering it difficult to read.}

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A mysterious message
In which unknown parties solicit the assistance of our heroes

It began with a gaudily dressed gentleman entering the tavern. He proffered us a note, requesting our assistance, purchased a round for the tavern, and swept out into the darkness. Although I followed him, he mounted his horse and quickly disappeared into the darkness.

The message was a call for help. The Burgomaster’s daughter was stricken by a mysterious illness beyond the ken of the townspeople to cure. We set out early the next day in the indicated direction. The overcast sky and the somber woods urged caution, so the monk and I took point. After several hours, we found ourselves crossing a large gate carved into the stone, after which the woods became even more somber and obscure.

The monk heard an eerie gurgling from off the road, so he and I went to investigate. We came upon a humanoid creature feeding upon a hapless traveller it must have pulled off to the side. I shot at it with my crossbow, keeping my distance and luring it towards my colleagues back on the road. Surprisingly, the creature ignored injuries that should have by all rights incapacitated it, sloughing off body parts as it continued to advance upon us. Our combined might was too much for it though.

As a precaution, I offered to burn the body while my colleagues examined the body of the traveller. However, as the body burned, I heard hoofbeats upon the road. A nauseating fog rolled in. I went to warn the others and we decided that discretion was the best course. Nonetheless, through the fog, we caught as glimpse of two black stallions, a man of noble bearing stepping down and a mysterious woman hidden in the recesses of the carriage.

The mist drained our vitality, though we successfully struggled out to a town. The mist seemed to be pushing us to a particular house. Before it, two young children claimed to need our assistance. They claimed that their parents and younger sibling we victims of a monster hidden in the cellar of the house. In our weakened state, we explored the house, but our efforts to locate the cellar came to nought. When we sought further information from the children, they had vanished.

The house itself was steeped in the unnerving and the supernatural. The walls seemed alive with skittering and strange creaks. When we visited the ballroom, we received strange visions of things past. The library contained a secret room with a skeleton and a treasure chest, containing a cryptic letter.

We reached the second floor of the house, where a suit of armour animated, gravely injuring Lady Arimaka. It took a combined effort for the rest of us to knock it down the stairs, destroying the eldritch enchantment upon it.

We then returned to rest in the maid’s room we had discovered. Alone among us, Lady Arimaka’s slumber was fitful and intermittent. We shall uncover the secrets of this house, and when we do, we shall shoot it in the face!

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All spots filled
Gearing up to start

Pallbearers.png

Just a quick note that all available spots for this campaign has been filled.

Watch this space for the kickoff in May,

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