AvocaD&D Campaign Journal: Curse of Strahd–Week 1

Here’s our weekly AvocaD&D update.  Feel free to also use the comments to talk about your own games, or anything else to do with D&D or other tabletop RPGs.


castle

Last weekend was our first session for our new Curse of Strahd campaign.  We all made new level 1 characters for this adventure, which takes place in a semi-realworld setting, in which all the various D&D races/classes still exist, just in Victorian-era Earth as opposed to, say, the Forgotten Realms.  Our party represents a London-based railway company sent to negotiate an extension of the rail line through the tiny eastern European nation of Barovia, ruled by Count Strahd.

The party consists of:

  • Txan Einreique, a Half-Elf Stone Sorcerer; the Company Representative and nominal party leader (played by new-comer Josephus Brown).
  • Kissi Farwood, a Human Fighter; a former solider hired as a bodyguard by Txan (played by a returning forget_it_jake).
  • Edwin Potts, a Human Cleric of Torm; a government agent sent to oversee the deal and make sure the company isn’t doing anything shady (played by Nope).
  • ENGR-23, a Warforged Artificer; a living machine employed as a railway engineer (played by our only non-Avocado party member).
  • Peter Peregrine, a Human Barbarian; a researcher who seems to be suffering from some kind of split-personality disorder (played by Doctor Nick).
  • Wickerwelt Tanglewood, a Halfling Ranger; a Barovian native brought along as a guide (played by yours truly).

I’m gonna be putting the actual recap in spoiler tags, just in case anyone is planning on running this this campaign on their own and doesn’t want anything given away.

Spoilers for Curse of Strahd

haunted_guardian

In our first session, we arrived in a seemingly deserted town in Barovia, with a large dark castle looming over from a nearby crag.  The only people we saw in the town were two frightened children, who told us their parents had trapped a monster in the basement of their house.  While Edwin and ENGR-23 were suspicious and anxious to be about our official business, Wick couldn’t ignore the children and Txan felt it was a good opportunity to gather some info from the local populace.  So, we entered the house and started searching for the stairway to the basement.  After awhile of finding nothing but some subtly creepy artwork, ENGR-23 became even more suspicious and cast a Detect Magic spell, which revealed that the children we had seen were merely illusions.  Though the Warforged wanted to leave immediately, an impenetrable mist had settled around the house–the trap was sprung.  We continued searching the house, eventually finding a hidden room in the library where someone had met an untimely end due to a trapped chest.  The corpse had a vague but troubling letter from one Strahd von Zarovich in its hand.

Later, at the top of a stairway, we found an old dusty suit of armor.  Peter absent-mindedly brushed the dust away, and the armor came to life and attacked us!  Our first battle!  A hit from Kissi’s morningstar, a couple of Sacred Flame spells from Edwin, and a surprisingly well-shot arrow from Wick (I rolled a natural 20, then managed to roll maximum damage as well) combined to turn the armor into a melted pile of scrap metal.

And that’s where we ended for the evening.  We’ll pick up next time (in 2 weeks) to finish searching this house and hopefully find a way out.  Next weekend, we’ll be playing more of the Lost Mines adventure, possibly reaching the end of our quest.

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Just for fun, I’m going to be including a different character’s backstory here every week.  So here’s some more details on my character, Wickerwelt Tanglewood:

Wick

Wickerwelt Tanglewood lived a simple life in a small, nameless village in the shadow of the mountains that mark the edge of Barovia. He had a small farm, a loving family, the respect of his neighbors, and a keen eye and talent with a bow. He traveled extensively between his village and the other small settlements along the border, and even ventured into the capital once. However, he has spent the last 20 years abroad, living off the land for the most part. He rarely speaks about his homeland, and while he tries to hide it, it’s plain to most people that whatever tragedy drove him from Barovia still troubles him greatly.

To most people, Wick is somewhat pricklier than usual for a Halfling, preferring to keep to himself. He has a special disdain for wealthy cityfolk. In whatever small villages he passes through as he travels, he shows great interest in local legends and superstitions. On the rare occasions he enters a large city, his purpose is to seek out priests, clerics, and other holy men and women of various faiths and traditions in order to learn what he can about dealing with the undead.

During a visit to London, Wick visited a temple to Torm, and met with a cleric named Edwin Potts. They hadn’t been talking long when Edwin mentioned his up-coming journey to Barovia with the British-European Railways Company. Taking this as a sign, Wick quickly offered to act as a guide over the mountains. He is both eager and apprehensive about returning to his native land.

Physically, Wick has shaggy, reddish-brown hair and fair-to-pale skin. His eyes are a light blue. Despite spending lots of time outdoors, he doesn’t really enjoy being in the sun.  He wears a long (for a Halfling) dark coat, dark goggles over his eyes, and a bandana covering the lower half of his face.  He doesn’t go anywhere without his lucky three-corner hat.