When we last left our heroes, they had just returned to the church in the village of Barovia so they could finish what they started with Doru. Upon arriving at the church, they realized that things were much quieter than it was on their last visit.
Carefully and quietly, Langolan crept back into the Church’s undercroft and approached the sleeping vampire spawn. With one swift whack of his hammer, Langolan drove the stake into Doru’s chest, reducing him to a pile of ash.
The group decided not to let father Donavich know what happened and left quietly while he was distracted praying.
Finally, on the road to Vallaki, they set off along the Old Svalich road. They eventually reached the crossroads, and after deliberating with Ismark and Ireena, they decided to stop at the Tser Pool encampment to see Madam Eva, who they learned was a seer of some renown.
The group was met with a warm welcome as soon as they arrived at the camp, and were invited to sit and rest at their fire. The Vistani welcomed them with wine and food, and they told them a story about a wizard who tried unsuccessfully to defeat Strahd. After some time, the group went to meet with Madam Eva, who greeted them by name upon entering her tent.
Madam Eva’s reading was as follows:
Flipping the first card she told them “This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy. The Missionary! I see a garden dusted with snow, watched over by a scarecrow with a sackcloth grin. Look not to the garden but to the guardian.”
The second card was drawn, and Madam Eva continued “This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope.” The card was revealed to be The Enchanter. “I see a kneeling woman—a rose of great beauty plucked too soon. The master of the marsh knows of whom I speak.”
The third card was shown to be the Elementalist. After flipping it Madam Eva said “This is a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight. The treasure is hidden in a small castle beneath a mountain, guarded by amber giants.”
Madam Eva then told them the next card would lead them to an enemy of Strahd who would aid them in their battle. The card was revealed to be The Mists, and she told them “A Vistana wanders this land alone, searching for her mentor. She does not stay in one place for long. Seek her out at Saint Markovia’s abbey, near the mists.”
The fifth and final card would lead them to Strahd. Madam Eva turned it over to reveal the Horseman. She told the group “He lurks in the one place to which he must return—a place of death.”
Once the reading was complete, Madam Eva did individual readings for each of the heroes.
Gibbs’s three cards were The Priest, The Shepherd, and The Raven. After revealing them, Madam Eva told him that he served a higher purpose. He protects others but bears a burden far too great to be shouldered alone; she saw a hidden ally in his future who would guide him to an artifact that would turn the tide in their quest.
Next up Mork got his reading. Madam Eva revealed his three cards -- The Warrior, The Beggar, and The Mists. She told Mork that she saw strength and force personified, but he walked the edge of two sides of the same coin. She saw great heroism on one side, but equally great defeat on the other. The cards revealed that a great quest would try his spirit, and that he wouldn’t come out the other side unchanged.
Lady Mistletoe’s cards were The Monk, The Merchant (inverted) and The Traitor. Madam Eva told her that she saw serenity, inner strength, and self-reliance, but warned her of danger and deceit in her future. She warned Lady Mistletoe to be wary of those extending their hand in friendship because betrayal lies in her future.
Despite his skepticism, Langolan then stepped forward for his reading. The three cards were flipped to reveal The Broken One, The Avenger, and The Necromancer. Madam Eva continued, revealing that Langolan had lost someone important, and felt incomplete without them. She saw that he was on a quest to rid the world of great evil, but she saw an unhealthy obsession. She told Langolan that he walked a destructive path that could just as easily lead to retribution or downfall.
Their readings complete, Madam Eva shooed them out of her tent. After a brief stop back at the Vistani’s fire, they decided to push on to Vallaki. Following the winding road up into the mountains, they came to a bridge that crossed the river far below. After admiring the view of the mountains and the waterfall to the west, (along with a brief contest to see who could pee the farthest off the bridge) they were surrounded and ambushed by zombies and skeletons who tried to drag them off the bridge to the river below. A pitched battle ensued, but our heroes emerged victorious, battered but victorious.
Not wanting to get caught out on the road after dark, they decided to push on to Vallaki and set off again. However, a few hours down the road they came across an old, dilapidated windmill and stopped to investigate.
Langolan approached first and was greeted by Bella, who revealed that she was the daughter of “Granny” the pie vendor from the Barovia village. About this time Lady Mistletoe caught the scent of baked goods on the air and rushed over in the hopes of getting more pie.
Initially hesitant to sell the pies -- “Mother usually sells these, we just bake them”, Lady Mistletoe and Mork managed to convince her to sell them four of the pies. Fearing something was up, Gibbs used his divine sense and discovered that the sisters were not what they seemed. He quickly informed the others that they were really fiends in disguise, and with that, combat was quickly entered.
The sisters were engaged inside the cramped quarters of the windmill, and thanks to Gibbs’ well timed healing magic they made short work of the first sister. However, before they could eliminate the second hag she disappeared, and despite the group’s best efforts, they were unable to discern where she went.
Unfortunately, before they even had a chance to catch their breath, Granny had returned from town. Pressing the attack, Mork lept from the second-story window, landing on Granny and driving her to the ground. She was quickly surrounded, and mere moments later was again struck by a dive-bombing Langolan from the third-story window.
Not one to stick around for a fight that she doesn’t have the upper hand in, Morgantha then disappeared as well, leaving them almost alone in the windmill. A quick search of the windmill and two children were found in cages in the upper levels. After rescuing the children -- along with another boy that was still in Granny’s cart, they set fire to the windmill and took a short rest while they watched it burn.
Next up, Vallaki?