from Vallora’s Diary…
It felt like we’d scoured every inch of the with no sign of the Baron other than his diary and then we found Maria, the girl taken in the lottery, the girl we followed here. She was pale and chained to a sumptuous bed in a room that, had it been anywhere else, might have been cozy. Considering what we’d run into already, here, we left her chained as we attempted to revive her. Poor girl was addled–she seemed startled and when we said we were here to help her, to rescue her, she struggled and called out for the Baron!
Sure that the Baron would arrive at any moment, we quieted Maria (I’m afraid I acted a bit hastily, I will have to atone for that, I’m sure) and arrayed ourselves for a fight, trapping the stairwells leading to the roof and preparing for a fight.
At first we thought Maria’s alarm had not been loud enough but, then, from the stairwell below came 4 Black Leopards and a man who could only be the Baron.
Finally meeting face to face, I knew it was time to unleash the Smiladon, and with the cry of “Longteeth” the jade figurine transformed into a towering cat, ready for battle. His size turned out to be appropriate as first the Baron and then each of his leopards in turn transformed into hulking were-cats. Had it not been for the Smiladon I’m not sure we would have prevailed as soon as we did. The Baron was fairly fixed upon the large cat which gave us time to deal with his lackeys.
Teran made an amazing show of not only dealing damage to the Baron and the Leopard attacking Etrigg but also surviving an entire battle without receiving a single wound himself–a feat never before seen in all our time together.
When the Baron fell, he returned to his more human form, the same for his remaining guards, making it easier to dispatch them. Our feline champion returned to it’s smaller, mineral self as well, it’s mission completed, and we were again visited by the Wizard who created him. Felkovic was grateful in his praise and awarded us “what we most desired.” Of course, in his mind that meant the land and people within it, when what we most wanted was to return to our own. Sure, I’m sure my companions would have preferred some gold for their purses, but home was on all of our minds.
As we revived Maria again, and my healing touch brought color back into her pallid cheeks, she seemed to regain her proper senses and was, this time, grateful for our promise to return her home. My companions spotted a storm rolling in and we thought to make a night of it in the castle before heading out again until the ground beneath us–6 stories beneath us–began to shake.
Rest would have to wait, our long day was not over yet as we rushed down the stairs and joined the throng of citizens exiting the castle. Any hope we had of leaving the grounds ended with the ground opening up beneath us. Some chose to jump others hadn’t the chance, and we were all falling, tumbling into darkness…
Finally we got some gaming in last weekend and wrapped up our first (only?) adventure in Ravenloft. The DM is being rather cagey with exactly where we’re going to end up, but he has at least confirmed we don’t have to roll up new characters for the next session. Speaking of which, it’ll likely be a month before we game again thanks to ACC and some other schedule conflicts. Such is life, right?
And if anyone asks, the Baron did that to your face.
When Maria called out for the Baron my first instinct wasn’t necessarily paladin-like: I knocked her out to shut her up. So when we revived her the second time, that line was my rather cowardly cover for the shiner she was sporting. I’m going to blame the influence of Ravenloft on that one… it was more like my Tiefling Hexblade than my kindy Paladin. Perfectly in-character or not, everyone got quite a kick out of it, nonetheless, so I’m claiming the line of the game for this session.
And, of course, there was food. I made up a batch of my Oven “Fried” Chicken Nuggets and there were the usual assorted cheeses, fruits, and veggies. Then Todd made a big batch of paella for supper and it was so incredibly good.
He’s been wanting to make this for the last month and a half and I’m so glad he didn’t change his plans. Ours had chicken and sausage–there would have been shrimp but one of our group isn’t a huge fan so we skipped that part. It was still excellent and I might have to make sure this ends up in a future expansion!
Okay, final bits! Ancient CIty Con is next weekend in Jacksonville and we will be bringing the usual yumminess with us, even better than we’ve done before. If you’ll be in the area, make sure to stop by and say hello and pick up a book if you haven’t already!
Also, you’ve got 1 more week to earn the extra XP for this month’s Recipe Challenge: Spice-Rubbed Ribs.
Until next time!