Session 73: Strahd to Kill
Within the depths of Castle Ravenloft Rahadin seemed up at Baräsh. His stare was painful. With it got here the sounds of a thousand determined screams. A cacophony of yells, screeches and pleading crammed the paladin’s thoughts because the nightfall elf smiled and leaned ahead. “Master, shall we kill them now?” Rahadin put a hand on Baräsh’s shoulder and turned him again to see, seated on the far finish of the lengthy bone desk, a well-known frightfully well-dressed man. Strahd!
Final night time was the 73rd session in our Curse of Strahd Dungeons & Dragons marketing campaign and our second ‘live’ recreation in a row. As soon as extra our DM welcomed us into his house in order that there might be no escape as he tormented and tortured our characters. He had created a LEGO flooring plan of Castle Ravenloft and was eager for us to have an opportunity to die in each room.
Our DM’s model of Castle Ravenloft in miniature LEGO scale (please excuse the blurry photograph)
Beforehand in Barovia…
Final session, we continued our exploration of Castle Ravenloft, the house of dreaded vampire lord Strahd Von Zarovich. This exploration primarily consisted of operating away from swimming pools of animated ooze (two Black Puddings) and falling over. We ended the session low on well being, however with most of our spell slots and skill factors nonetheless intact. This was good as a result of because the session ended we got here face-to-face as soon as extra with Strahd.
Nepharon and Associates: The Kosef Division
Kosef – Human Rogue/Wizard carries the Employees of Frost, performed by me;
Baräsh – Dragonborn Paladin, follower of St. Andell and the Morning Lord;
Gimble Timbers – Gnome Fighter, proprietor of the Solar-Sword, has a pet canine referred to as Kevon;
Brundle Swash – Gnome Druid, will get electrocuted rather a lot;
Victor – Human (Teenage) Wizard-in-Coaching, NPC;
Ireena – Human Cleric, Strahd’s would-be bride, blessed by St. Andell, NPC.
The Kosef Division of Nepharon Associates put together to enter Castle Ravenloft. L-R: Ireena, Gimble Timbers, Barash, Kosef, Brundle Swash and Victor
Strahd occupied one of the grand bone chairs that sat across the lengthy skeletal desk. His fingers pressed collectively in contemplation. Solely Gimble Timbers and Ireena have been within the ossuary with him. Baräsh and Victor stood gawping within the adjoining room with Rahadin. Whereas Kosef and Brundle have been nonetheless within the hall reeling from the Black Pudding assault. Strahd stood up. Fierce anger emanated from his physique like steam. “You have been a thorn in my side since I brought you here. Now I must deal with you all. At least you brought me my bride.”
As we anticipated, the session started with an icy confrontation with our nemesis within the basement of Castle Ravenloft. As ever Strahd was well mannered and welcoming and spoke with our DM’s best English gentleman’s accent – even within the UK the dangerous guys are all the time English! So as to add to the temper our DM additionally offered a soundtrack, one thing we don’t often have. In order Strahd continued to threaten and curse us, Dracula Das Musical was enjoying.
Baräsh started to hurry ahead to guard Ireena, “You cannot have her!” however earlier than he received into the room Strahd clapped his arms collectively. “Now, now. Let’s not forget our manners.” Directly all of the doorways to the ossuary slammed shut, separating most of the celebration as soon as extra.
Gimble Timbers and Ireena have been trapped within the room with Strahd. Not understanding what to do, they stepped as distant from his as potential. “Do sit down and join me at the table for a bit.”
“Not likely,” replied Gimble sounding braver than he felt.
Kosef and Brundle each tried arcana checks on the doorways that separated them from the bone room, neither rolled excessive, in order that they started hammering on the door ineffectually with their paltry fists.
Within the different room, Baräsh turned to Rahadin, “What happened? Open this door!” When Rahadin didn’t open the door our dragonborn fighter stepped ahead menacingly and raised his sacred hammer.
For as soon as the primary to behave was Victor, often final in initiative, he acted shortly and forged Invisibility on Baräsh. This may give the Dragonborn benefit on his assault towards Rahadin. However first, Strahd used one of his Legendary Actions to maneuver 30-feet and stand instantly in entrance of Gimble Timbers.
Gimble Timbers then failed a charisma saving throw and Strahd ripped his shadow from him and commanded it to assault the gnome. The shadow missed the Life drain assault, however Gimble was fearful. He turned to his final resort: the Solar-Sword. Vibrant mild engulfed the shadow as a 15-feet radius sphere of daylight shone out from the sword. He slashed the shadow, dealing sufficient injury to withdraw. Now innocent, it returned to the gnome’s aspect. Strahd was not impressed. Simply being in shut proximity to the Solar-Sword was dealing him 20 factors of injury per flip.
Ireena ran to the locked door and tried to forged Dispel Magic to open it. The spell failed and she or he referred to as out. “Save me my Tiny Champion!” Emboldened Gimble Timbers ran throughout the desk to the place Strahd now stood and thrust the Solar-Sword in the direction of him. The vampire recoiled, hissing.
Strahd leaped on to the desk to face the gnome. His face crisped and peeled within the mild of the sword. He punched Gimble twice, dealing a big quantity of injury and knocking him again.
Over the course of the subsequent two rounds, Gimble confronted down Strahd on his personal. Inspired by Ireena’s cheers and infrequently healed by her prayers, he struck the vampire 3 times with the Solar-Sword and Strahd hit him again, repeatedly utilizing his legendary actions to do take further strikes on the gnome.
Within the adjoining room, Victor and Baräsh weren’t faring a lot better dealing with Rahadin. Strahd’s dusk-elf man-servant had taken some injury from the dragonborn’s preliminary assault, however on each flip, each Victor and Baräsh needed to make a knowledge saving throw or take psychic injury from the deathly choir of ghoulish screams that affected anybody inside shut proximity of Rahadin.
After three rounds of failed saves, the screams intensified and Baräsh was virtually unconscious. To make issues worse he crit-failed (rolled a pure 1) on his remaining assault towards Rahadin and fell susceptible on the ground, dropping his weapon.
The sight of Baräsh falling on the ground scared Victor and he ran for the door. He forged Dispel Magic on the lock and rolled a pure 20 on his arcana verify and the door flew open, revealing Strahd and Gimble dancing on the desk on the far finish of the room.
In the meantime, Kosef and Brundle have been additionally fighting a big picket door. Kosef was very badly harm from the Black Pudding battle, so he used his motion to assist Brundle smash the door down on his flip. Brundle obliged. Or a minimum of he tried to. First, he forged a therapeutic spell on Kosef to convey him again as much as well being after which used his Wildshape capacity to show right into a rhino and cost on the door. Sadly, this door was magically sealed and his preliminary try didn’t work.
So on his subsequent flip, he tried once more. Nonetheless no luck. On the third flip, he was extra profitable and smashed via the door. His momentum, nevertheless, took him additional than simply by means of the door and he smashed into the desk on which Strahd and Gimble have been preventing. The desk creaked and flew throughout the room trapping Ireena beneath it. Strahd and Gimble each by some means made their dexterity saving throws and, like youngsters leaping over waves on the seashore, daintily hopped up because the desk buckled they usually landed safely on the ground. As they landed Kosef let off a Cone of Chilly from his Employees of Frost catching each Gimble and Strahd within the blast.
Issues shortly descended into chaos in Ravenloft’s Bone Room
Re-group in Ravenloft
Seeing the celebration re-group Strahd seemed nervous. He had taken a good quantity of injury from Gimble and the Solar-Sword and now that we have been all in the identical room the chances had turned towards him. On his subsequent flip he forged a 3rd degree Sleep spell and Victor and Ireena each fell unconscious. Our DM later admitted disappointment to not have caught extra of us with the spell. Baräsh was simply out of vary, in any other case, he would have definitely been affected.
Strahd then summoned 4 Ghouls to hitch the get together, one thing he can do every time he likes inside Castle Ravenloft. The ghouls stored Kosef and Brundle occupied for the subsequent couple of rounds as Strahd continued to focus his ire on Gimble Timbers. The gnome was valiantly standing his floor.
When Baräsh ultimately obtained up from the bottom he noticed Ireena and Gimble dealing with Strahd however was too distant, and engaged with Rahadin, to do something about it. However he was not ineffective. He forged a Magic Circle round Gimble and Ireena, creating an impenetrable barrier round them and defending them from Strahd. The vampire was livid and turned to assault Kosef.
Someway the vampire missed his first assault, however his second hit, taking Kosef right down to lower than 10 hit factors. Strahd was now out of the primary bone room, with Kosef stood between him and Gimble Timbers. This meant Strahd was out of vary of the Solar-Sword, however not of Gimble Timbers.
Lightning strikes twice
For a second the gnome thought-about throwing a Lightning Bolt at Strahd (he had gained the power to do that from our keep within the Amber Temple) however he couldn’t get an angle with out putting Kosef. This wouldn’t be the primary time he’d hit the rogue with Lightning. He hesitated. “Do it!” yelled Kosef. So Gimble let unfastened.
Dexterity saving throws from Strahd and Kosef have been required. I used to be assured that Kosef can be OK. Now he was degree seven he had Evasion, a capability meaning you possibly can negate injury taken after a dex save. Fortunately he was. Strahd took half injury. Now he was actually mad.
Gimble Timbers ran in the direction of Strahd, Solar-Sword raised and he struck the vampire. Strahd let loose a mighty howl that shook the partitions of Ravenloft. Now, seeing that the tide had turned towards him and his ghouls have been defeated he started to sink silently into the ground. Gimble struck out once more, just for his blade to chop by way of the air above the bottom the place Strahd had simply stood. Strahd had been swallowed by the citadel and escaped to lick his wounds. END
Finally an actual Strahd battle on his house turf! It was nice to see Gimble Timbers maintain his personal one-on-one with the vampire within the depths of Castle Ravenloft. And Rahadin proved to be an actual pain-in-the-behind NPC that nearly took out each Baräsh and Victor with ease.
We have been amazed on the quantity of legendary assaults and lair actions that Strahd has inside Castle Ravenloft and our subsequent encounter with him goes to be actually exhausting. Particularly seeing as I doubt he’s going to allow us to relaxation and heal ourselves or regain any spell slots.
What did we study?
DM Tip: Legendary and Lair Actions could make all of the distinction in a massive boss battle and may flip an enemy from medium problem to super-hard. Strahd has tons of additional actions that he makes use of on the participant character’s flip, probably the most helpful of which is his 30-feet of motion. This implies he can primarily journey as much as 150-feet in a single spherical if he needs to and he doesn’t provoke alternative assaults.
Participant Tip: Some individuals have cats. And a few individuals are allergic to cats. For those who fall into the latter class and have been invited to play D&D at somebody’s residence, ensure you examine together with your DM or host if there are more likely to be any cats. In any other case, you may find yourself like me: a coughing, wheezing, dribbling mess barely capable of learn the numbers on a cube via shiny purple eyes streaming with tears of silly remorse.
Subsequent week we attempt to decide up the items following the battle. We’re caught within the basement of Ravenloft, badly harm and in want of an extended relaxation. Why do I get the sensation that’s not going to occur?
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