GM note: Awfully embarrassing that I didn’t bother to get this up until almost a week later. I’m sitting here, two hours prep maybe from running Thursday, and I still don’t have Session 6 up.
Having arrived outside a new town, the party began performing their usual tasks quite diligently. After a few days, though, Jandar Abzan spied someone talking to Hermos; though he couldn’t hear what the giant was saying, he did distinctly see him pointing to each of the heroes in turn.
Jandar began to notice his scales receding somewhat — his already comely features, previously marred only slightly by the shimmering dragon scales, seemed to look even more incredible. Kallisti, for her part, began to grow short tentacles from her wings, which she seemed to think was a sign of good fortune and a blessing of her eldritch patron.
The four of them were approached separately by the man, who claimed that he had “some information” which he would divulge if they could speak privately. When Kallisti and Serenity pressed him on it, he confessed to them that it related to a way that one might escape the mists, to return to wherever they had come from.
With the four of them gathered, he pulled out a map of Verbrek and pointed at a town in the North.
“We are currently here,” he said. He traced a line down to a large field in the middle of a forest. “There are the ruins of a castle here,” he said, making a mark on the map. “According to research done by my employer, if you can get there, you should find a sword. That sword is your key to getting out of the mists.”
As the heroes questioned him, he answered one by one. How did it work? According to his research, if a Darklord is defeated using the blade, then it will tear a momentary rift, and they should be able to step through it and out of the mists. Why couldn’t his employer come and take it himself? He was infirm, and couldn’t leave the country.
Kallisti, nervous about the talk of werewolves around, pressed him on whether or not his employer was a werewolf, which he denied. When she asked about bloodsuckers, he denied that, as well.
After some debate, they all agreed. Isolde was more than happy to allow them to leave; she wasn’t their master, after all, though she couldn’t say where she would be heading in the days to come. They bid the carnival farewell and caught a boat down the river to a town not far from the forest clearing where they would be adventuring.
They prepared to settle in for the night, tired from a long day on the ferry, but found that they couldn’t find anyone to give them a room at any of the inns they had gone to — Kallisti recalled having seen some of the villagers heading west. Toward the forest.
They decided to follow, and as night fell, they managed to follow the path with only a little difficulty.
As they moved, it became increasingly clear that the path they were following was leading them to the very place that the man, who had claimed to be a solicitor, had directed them in the first place. As they headed into the ruins, though, they heard a noise behind them, and turned to see a large wolf, leading a pack of smaller wolves.
They dispatched them with relatively little difficulty, except for one which turned tail and ran once it took a wound, with the rest of its pack all dead. The group, realizing that they couldn’t keep up with a wolf in full flight, turned to head back into the ruined walls and stones.
Atop a hill sat a large throne, and before the throne a sword, inset into the ground. It came up easily, and as soon as Jurgen Jurgenson touched it, it was clear that this was the sword they had come to take. As he pulled it free, though, one of the statues around the great stone chair began to move, swooping over and hitting Kallisti before skittering back away, as another pair of wolves came in out of the darkness to harass Jurgen and Serenity from defending their more-vulnerable companions.
As they struck down one of the wolves, a third came to join, limping but still alive, to revenge its fallen family. Fortunately, the heroes were able to prevail. Their job done, they started to walk down the hill. At this point, things went horribly, horribly wrong.
Out of the forests surrounding the ruin, dozens, perhaps hundreds of people walked out, flanked by dogs or wolves. One of them stood out as familiar, a thin bespectacled man that Jandar Abzan recognized as the same man who had spoken to Isolde on their second day in Verbrek. Alfred Timothy.
They tried to run, but were blocked. The Darklord had an offer for them, a sport of sorts. He would give them an hour, and then he and his pack would follow. If they could escape Verbrek, he announced, he would let them go. The heroes ran as if their lives depended on it, and they very likely did.
After ninety minutes, they turned back to see Alfred Timothy standing in the middle of a field, scarcely two hundred yards behind. He screamed his frustration at the sky, but turned back. He would not follow.
The Party had been given instructions to make their way to a town just southeast of the border. There, they would meet with the lawyer’s employer, and go over the next stage of their plan. The town was easy enough to find, though it was only the early hours of the morning when they arrived.
There, standing just outside the light of a torch, was a single man standing beside a carriage. His clothes looked fine, and from what little light flickered on his face, they could tell that he was a man in his middle 40s, with a touch of grey at the temples. This, they presumed, was their mysterious benefactor.
“Good evening,” the man said. “My name is Strahd von Zarovic. At your service.”