After dealing with the corpse of the vampire (the Priest's son), the group sets to work using the last hours of the dim daylight available to fortify the old church. Many of the broken and destroyed items were only physically broken (not burned) so a few prayers of Mending are able to set them right again. For the rest, some new lumber, braces, and hard work do nicely.
Some time after sundown comes an ominous sniffing at the windows and doors and the sound of heavy paws outside the old church. Low growls rumble through and disturb the quiet. Then, a great golden eye peeps in a hole in the wood at the window… a giant four legged creature. Imish's keen barbarian senses and Krang-Fang's knowledge of wild creatures serve to quickly identify what awaits them outside… Dire Wolves.
Imish seeks to communicate with one of the Dire Wolves – to find out intent, who it serves, what's going on, etc. It… well it doesn't go to plan. The wolves serve a "Master" (undoubtedly Strahd) and mock and belittle the Barbarian and his friends. They challenge him to come forth and prove himself…. so he does.
A brawl ensues that goes around the church, involves some (re)broken windows, some eldritch magic, and a lot of axe work, a few timely healing spells, and a druid in bear form.
When all is done, the night passes uneventfully (except for the midnight parade of ghosts…) and in the morning the Burgomaster at last receives his final rest.
The major reveal of the evening however is the knowledge that Ireena is not, in fact, the blood descendant of the Burgomaster but rather a foundling who had lost her memories that he raised as his own.
What will the new day bring?
We finally get to actually progress in the storyline without having to spend too much time on character introductions. Tonight was an opportunity to really get into 5th Edition itself and try out a slightly longer combat. To add "complexity" we are incorporating Aspects (from the various Fate games – especially Dresden Files which we played for 3 years).
- Krang-Fang – Dwarf Druid
- Imish – Half-Orc Barbarian
- Lasarina – Human Cleric
- Ellathan – Half-Elf Wizard
The party received XP for the Dire Wolves (200xp each) and for completing the "scene" – burying the Burgomaster and surviving the night – (250xp each). The treasure was basically the remnants of a buried box in the cellar, some semi-precious stones (8 of them worth 10gp each), an old silver chain (10gp), and assorted coppers and silver (1gp total value). They could also monetize the Dire Wolf pelts/fangs/claws, but unlikely they'll have time to prep them properly.