The large, bald man reached out for Ireena and screamed, “MY DREAM!” Using his monstrous arm, he grabbed Ireena and began dragging her north out of the town square. The party hesitated for a few moments and that gave the man all the time he needed. He raised his monstrous arm and smacked it down on the top of Ireena’s head, immediately knocking her unconscious. Varis finally came to his senses and ran forward to try and find the man, however, he had disappeared around a corner and was now gone from view. Varis tried to search for a view of him, but it was to no avail.
The guards that walked into the square with the man then came forward and surrounded the party, demanding that they drop any weapons they were holding. After a tense moment, Dollie walks forward and turns on the charm, pushing a sexual advance on one of the guards. He immediately falls under her metaphorical spell and becomes friendly. She asked him where the bald man might have gone and the guard responded by saying he most likely went back to the Burgomaster’s mansion. Dollie asked him if he would take them back to the mansion to meet the Burgomaster, but the guard said people needed an appointment. She turned the charm on again and he agreed to take them back and ask if he could meet with them.
However, every single time the guard would end a sentence or make a point, he would end the sentence with, “All will be well!” This could also be found on every pamphlet the guards hung up around the square with information for the upcoming Festival of the Blazing Sun.
On the walk to the mansion, the party asked the guard about the bald man. The guard told them his name was Izek Strazni and he was the personal muscle and “kind of like an adopted, but not really, son” of the Burgomaster. He ruled over the guards and people of Vallaki through fear and threats. The guards held no real loyalty to the man, but they were all too scared to do anything and listened to whatever he commanded them to do.
All will be well!
As they arrived at the mansion, they notice it was actually quite a large building with walls of plastered stone and tons of building scars of wear and tear. Every single window had drapes on the inside, and the building looked imposing and terrible. As they approached the building, they could see people coming and going from the double doors, including the guards dragging a man inside with a bag over his head. The guard told them that he was most likely being taken to the Burgomaster for a trial for speaking out against the festival or not being happy enough while in public.
All will be well!
The guard led them inside the double doors where they met a maid that welcomed them inside. The guard told them he would head upstairs and see if the Burgomaster would be willing to meet with them, departing the group with a resounding, “All will be well!” The party looked around inside the main entrance and vestibule where framed portraits adorned the grand foyer. They saw a long carpeted hallway that led to several doorways and a large staircase leading upstairs that the guard took to go find the Burgomaster.
The party spoke to the maid and she told them of her service to the Burgomaster and how she gladly served the town of Vallaki. She would end every other sentence with, “All will be well!” They asked if the maid could point out a picture of the Burgomaster among the portraits on the wall and she did so. They pondered for a moment, even seeing a woman stick her head out of a door along the hallway and welcoming them as guests to her house and asking the maid to come into the room for something. The party recognized the woman as the Burgomaster’s wife from the portrait on the wall, and as she ducked her head back into the room, she left the party with a tumultuous, “All will be well!”
The maid left and after a few moments there was a sound behind them at the doors leading into the house. Standing behind them was a man who introduced himself as Larnak and told them that they were in danger and should come with him. He admitted to being the one that was following and watching them before saying it was adamant that they follow him. After a brief and tense discussion, the party decided following him was the best course of action, sneaking out of the house before the guard could come back down to retrieve them.
They followed the man for a while and he brought them to Wachterhaus, a house that belongs to an influential noble family in Barovia. The first glance of the house let them know it seemed like the house was disgusted with itself. It had a terrible, slouching roof with moss-covered walls and far too much vegetation to make the house look livable. The edifice of the house actually groaned with even the slightest gust of wind.
Larnak brought them inside and led them to a room that served as both a dining room and a den. They were brought inside and eventually shown to a woman that introduced herself as Lady Fiona Wachter. She was an appalling looking woman that instantly gave off vampiric vibes, although it was eventually proven that she wasn’t a vampire. She introduced herself to the party and then did a formal introduction of her right hand man, Ernst Larnak.
They discussed some things for a while and learned that Lady Wachter absolutely despised the Burgomaster and wanted to supplant him with herself. This is why she was having the party watched, because they were newcomers and needed to know if they were allies with the Burgomaster. She told the party of Izek and how when he was a child, he and his sister went fishing with their father and uncle out on Lake Zarovich (a large lake to the north of Vallaki). On the way back to town, a dire wolf flung itself at them, eventually biting off Izek’s right arm. The father snatched up Izek and ran back to town with him while the uncle distracted the beast. During the chaos, the sister ran off into the woods and was never seen from again. Eventually, Izek’s parents either died or disappeared and he became a sociopath taken under the wing of the Burgomaster. Izek was mocked relentlessly and used to kill little boys and girls that did so, so the Burgomaster, the one that was supposed to punish Izek for those crimes, pardoned him and took him in as a pseudo son.
Lady Fiona was not sure how he gained his monstrosity of an arm, but she knows that the first crucial step in overthrowing the Burgomaster would be to eliminate Izek. She tells the party that she knows of their defeat of Death House and their fight against the hags at the windmill. They become bewildered at how she knows this information. They ask her why she wants to overthrow the Burgomaster and she says, “I hate that man. I’d rather serve the devil than a madman.” She explained that she had plans for overthrowing the Burgomaster but didn’t want to share them unless they agreed to help her in doing so.
The party discusses things with Lady Fiona for a while and they decide they need some time to think about her offer. She won’t let them leave the house with the information she just shared with them, so she offers the dining room and adjoining den/study as a place to sleep overnight while they think about it. The party asks if Larnak could try and locate Ireena as that might help them in their decision in the morning. He agrees and Lady Fiona whispers something to Larnak as he leaves the house do some reconnaissance.
The party decides to talk for a bit, discussing a myriad of things from the fight at the windmill to some of the information they received from their various dealings throughout Vallaki when the party split up to explore and the visions they saw when the energy from the megaliths at the windmill overtook their minds. Eventually, a day full of traveling and exploring finally got the better of them, and they all drifted off to sleep within the supposed safety of Lady Fiona Wachter’s dining room.
The stats/levels depicted above represent the current stats/levels of the party. They are not reflective of where the party was when this session took place.