When we last met our Adventurers, they had worked their way deeper into the cursed village, in seek of the crying sound echoing out from the center of the small town. They quickly came across a fork in the road. A sign stood with a painted board pointing right that said “_Blood of the Vine Tavern_”, but the wailing sound was coming from the left.
The party elected to head left, toward the wailing, and agreed to visit the tavern after they had determined the source of the weeping. It didn’t take long for the group to find the home that was emanating the sound. The two story town home stood higher than the rest, but was rotting just the same. A quick inspection told KP that the home was once decorated immaculately, and likely was owned by a prominent member of the village.
They made their way inside by smashing down the water logged door. KP and Tracer headed to a door in the back of the room while Wrev and Edric made their way up the stairs on the right. KP threw the door open and saw two rats fighting over a small body. The rat closer to the door let go of it’s pretty and leapt to bite KP, but Tracer felled the beast with a quick crossbow bolt to the side. The other rat scampered down the hole in the floorboards, taking the body with it.
Meanwhile, Wrev and Edric stood at the top of the stares and formulated a plan. Edric opened the door with his haunted Mage Hand, while Wrev summoned an illusion of himself inside the room. Wrev directed the illusion to walk into the room, in an attempt to break any traps. Nothing happened, so Wrev and Edric continued into the room.
There they found a woman, slumped in the corner, weeping. Wrev quickly finds that yelling at the women is proving to be unhelpful. KP, having found nothing of note in the back room of the home, headed upstairs. KP is able to get the women to stop sobbing long enough to learn that her daughter had been taken from her, and that she wanted the Adventurers to bring her child back.
While the rest of the party was upstairs, Tracer stayed in the back room. She noticed that the surviving rat from earlier scuttled back into view, and took a shot at it. Pinning the rat down, she dropped down into the hole and finished the rat off. Upon closer inspection, Tracer realized that the body wasn’t a child’s corpse, but a very lifelike doll. The doll’s dress had a tag attached that read “Is no fun, is no Blinsky!”.
The remaining members of the party stepped back downstairs to convene, and Tracer showed them the doll. They decided that the doll must be the “daughter” that the woman upstairs lost and so Tracer took the doll upstairs and presented it to the women. She exasperatedly informed him that the doll wasn’t her daughter, but that it did belong to her. She then explained that her daughter was taken by the Devil, Strahd.
The women explained that Strahd is a vampire that rules this land. He’s the master of Barovia, the region that the group found themselves whisked to. She tells them that anyone that attempts to leave the region is swallowed by the mists, and if they don’t perish, they find themselves walking back the way they came.
KP informed the women that they’d do their best to get her daughter back, and the party left the old home. They decided the local pub would be their next stop. They quickly found themselves standing outside The Blood of the Vine Tavern quickly. It’s the first building that they’ve seen with light in the windows, and smoke coming from the chimney.
Upon entering the party notices the barkeep behind the counter, washing a glass, three cheery looking men in a corner, one of which was playing music. and finally a lone man sitting at a table near the fire. He waves the adventurers over and offers them drink. He asks their names and introduces himself as Ismark. He explains that he’s the son of Barovia’s Burgomaster and the conversation quickly moves to Strahd and his obsession over Ismark’s sister, Ireena.
Ismark explains that his father passed away a few days ago, and he wants to move Ireena to a village further west called Vallaki. Ismark has heard that Vallaki is free of Strahd’s curse, and thinks that Ireena will be safe there. He asks the party to follow him home to meet Ireena and help him get her to her destination safely.