After the first dispiriting encounter with Lord Strahd, the remains of the party: Lady Arimaka, Oscar, Elga, Delfina, Daisuke, Adran, Ismark and Ireena sought to regain Kolyanovich manor before nightfall.
The mood was somber, reflecting the loss of Mika. As the group made its way through the town, they heard the creaking of an ancient barrow, pulled by an old woman selling pies. The pies seemed popular, with the inhabitants of the town jostling to purchase them. Oscar noticed however, that despite appearances, the crone did not appear to be struggling to pull the heavy cart.
Suspicious, Lady Arimaka invoked her god’s insight, and received guidance that the woman was not what she seemed. Indeed, she radiated strong evil. Upon hearing this, Adran immediately melted into the shadows and sought to approach the woman without arousing attention.
The others approached the woman, despite Ismark’s apparent disdain for her, although he was unable to exactly describe the source of his aversion. The crone attempted to sell the party a pie. Questioning the ancient failed to disclose why she radiated evil, and the pie itself seemed harmless. Lady Arimaka was suddenly seized with doubt.
At that point, Adran, who had gotten lost in the town’s winding streets, re-emerged from a cross-alley. Unaware of the intervening discussions (and perhaps, not really caring), he shot a quarrel through the air that landed with a solid plunk in the middle of the woman’s chest. Despite being a shot that should, by all reason, destroy a regular humanoid several times over, the woman responded to this attack by disappearing, abandoning her cart. Discussion with the onlookers seemed to indicate that her customers had an intense, deep, almost maniacal craving for the pies, and that if the customers were unable to pay, the crone would take their children away. From Ismark, the group obtained the location of the old mill where the crone resided.
The party spent the evening in Kolyanovich manor, where Adran’s investigations identified that only one of the notes had been sent by the late burgomaster: the second, written in a different hand, sent by an unknown party intent on luring the adventurers to Ravenloft.
Attempts to procure horses for the trip were unsuccessful, so at dawn, the group set out on foot. At midday, the party arrived at a crossroads, surmounted by an ancient crow. The crow seemed to want to communicate, so Elga addressed it in its own language. The crow led the group to an encampment of Vistani, and to their ancient matriarch. She offered to tell their fortune, and drew the macabre tarot. She first drew the philanthropist, followed in quick succession by the transmuter, the anarchist, the marionette and finally, the horseman. She spoke in riddles, speaking of prophecy and half-veiled signs.
The party spent the night and part of the next day with the Vistani, searching the area for a rumoured weapon that might be effective against Strahd, but unsuccessful, the party eventually broke off the search. As they continued to follow the road, they drew close to the mill in which the witch was said to live. The rumours of the stolen children spurred Lady Arimaka to storm the mill and defeat the evil within. And so the party plans its approach.