Session 13 The Vistani Camp and The Baroness


We join our favorite band of would-be heroes on the shore of a dark lake, having rescued the lovely (albeit feisty) Arabelle. In a show of gratitude, Arabelle agrees to show you a short cut. Much to their surprise (and, probably, Arabelle’s), the shortcut holds treacherous secrets, including two clumsy, slashing zombies. As quickly as the entourage began their trek, they find themselves engaged in a battle with the two undead creatures. But, their weapons fast and true, and their courage unbroken, they quickly dispatch with the zombies. If only brainless slashers were the forest’s only dangers…

Out of the shadows comes a voice: “You may have destroyed my minions, but I will destroy YOU!” Our heroes rally quickly, knowing they are about to face a far worse foe.

“For the anguish you caused my father, you must pay!”


The familiar snarling shout of Doru echoed through the trees, and the band of travelers stood at the ready. As Aydin stepped forward with his mighty stroke, Jalyn hurled fire bolt after fire bolt, and Tilly aimed her steady crossbow, Doru taunted them from behind a tree. Thaldir surrounded him with a cloud of piercing magic, even as Syrren reigned fire all around him, but the battle raged on.

After several uncertain moments of Doru’s wrath, the troop finally saw him bloodied and staggering. Exhausted and hurting, Doru tried to flee. Irena smacked him with the force of a thousand angry mothers, and Little Arabella did her part to help her teammates continue the onslaught.

Finally, Master Jalyn dealt a final, searing blow to the psychotic son of Ivanovich, ending his madness and his campaign of terror.


Vistani Camp outside Vallaki

Through the dark woods they continue, until they come upon a camp in a clearing. Arabelle confirms that they have, at last, arrived at the Vistani camp. They are certain that they will find friendly faces here but know they dare not tarry a long time.


From inside a glowing tent, they hear the crack of a vicious whip and the wail of a young man. Unfortunately, this is exactly the tent where Arabelle says they will find her father. As they enter, they see a young man, bloodied and with his arms chained. It’s clear he has taken quite a beating, which is happily interrupted by the reunion of Arabelle and her father,Luvash.


Tilly and Aydin make a case for sparing the young man, who was certainly no intellectual match for the cunning Arabelle. Tilly assures the Vistani patriarch that he can be very proud of how well his daughter aided them in battle.

Before they commence to celebrating her return and her name day, Arabelle is allowed to decide the fate of the wayward fisherman, Bluto Krogarov as her gift from her new friends. She buries a hammer deep in his skull, which brings her and her father great joy. Aydin hesitantly offers her the gift this travelling group purchased for her at Blinksy’s. She happily agrees to share it with another child in the camp, since she received the best gift for any young warrior girl – taking a life on her name day.


As a reward, the towering Luvash offers them their choice of three items: a rolled up rug (with a bulge in the middle), an iron chest, or a wooden chest. Tilly tries to convince Luvash and Arabelle to choose for them, but they offer no insight, save this: using detect magic might provide the answer we are seeking. With her savvy and feminine wiles, Tilly convinces the burly Luvash to give them a choice of two items.

Syrren’s interests are far more heart-centered than mission-focused. He inquires as to the availability of Madam Eva. With a chuckle and a wink, Luvash asks if Syrren is aware of just how old Madame Eva is. Undeterred, Syrren smiles and dreams of soft, wrinkled skin.

For their gifts, they wisely choose the iron chest and the rug. In the iron chest, they find 650 gold pieces to add to their loot. With a flourish and a whoop, Tilly tries to unfurl the rug at her feet. Out jumps an imp! “I am Pidlwick II, at your service!”

Pidlwick II

Apparently, this little fellow was in Strahd’s castle when he found himself being rolled up in a rug. He seems anxious to travel with them to their dinner party.

Next, a stranger, with a familiar face, enters the area. This dusk elf is someone the adventure party has met before, though in a disguise. It is their old friend Stanimir. He says there are other elves in the camp as well. Then they are introduced to Stanimir’s companion Kasimir Velikov. Syrren is reserved, but greets his distant relatives cordially.

They spend a few minutes more drinking and celebrating with the friendly Vistani. They all swear loyalty and lifelong friendship to one another. Tilly manages to send a fragrant, amorous letter to Iosef, via Arrigal (whom they met previously on the road, astride his horse). Syrren also sends his regards to the crinkly Madame Eva. After saying final goodbyes, they head out on the road to town. Syrren promises to return and speak with his brothers, the Dusk Elves, very soon. They assure him that Gadof Blinsky and the tavern owner are people he can trust. Arabelle looks up from fondling her bloody hammer to say goodbye, send a fond message to her friends at the orphanage, and offer admiration to Aydin.


For a moment, the glint leaves Arabelle’s eyes and she goes into a trance.


Boxes, boxes, all around
Special plan for special town
Gift to Dark Lord from his bride
Hope you don’t see what’s inside!
Dark Lord watches from up close
Fire. Fire. Fire. FIRE. FIRE. FIRE! FIRE!

When she returns to herself, she continues playing happily. Luvash confirms that the child has the same gift as Madam Eva. Our heroes leave, promising to heed Arabelle’s cryptic words.

As they travel along the road, Syrren confesses that he contemplated leaving the party because he felt a pull to burn down the windmill. The party, in a show of solidarity and friendship, swears to return and resolve the matter of the windmill as soon as they are rested.

When they finally reach the town gates, they pull out their papers and present their weapons for inspection. After confirming that they understand the rules, they are allowed to pass through. Thaldir passes along Arabelle’s message to the children who come running toward them.


Back at the tavern, they take a few minutes to freshen up. As they wait for their host to pick them up, Term asks Pidlwick a few questions. Term discovers that Pidlwick is a construct, and, as a machine, falls right into Term’s wheelhouse. From what they can tell, the little mechanical imp is only good for killing and talking a lot. He even confesses to killing the original Pidlwick by pushing “it” down the stairs. His main job seems to have been smothering guests of the castle. Pidlwick tells the group that he was created by the great Fritz von World, a toy maker who once called himself the greatest in all the land. He has been around a long time, and seems very independent.

When Ernst Larnak arrives to pick them up, he is taken aback by the presence of Pidlwick II. He asks that they leave it behind. When Aydin fusses at Ernst for reacting so rudely, he acquiesces, agreeing to let him come along. Term gives Pidlwick a book and lets him jump into the bag of holding.

Something Wicked This Way Comes


The short ride to the manor is pleasant, and they are struck by the manor’s appearance. As they come in, they see a warm, inviting fire. It doesn’t take long before the conversation with Fiona Wachter turns to the town of Borovia and her dislike for the Burgomaster, Baron Vargas Vallokovich.

Fiona Wachter

She doesn’t like the rules, and she hates to see people punished in the stockade. She purports to have invited them to dinner out of curiosity, having also enlisted her friends to watch over the adventurers. She says that, after watching our actions and receiving word of how the group took care of things at the orphanage, she would welcome their endorsement of her campaign.

She goes a step further in asking the party to “take care of” Izek, the Burgomaster’s right hand man. She wants him out of the way of her bid to lead the town. Justification: he murders, humiliates, and mistreats the people of Barovia. At Aydin’s request, she says she will give them two days to decide. Tilly tries to probe further into Lady Wachter’s motives. Tilly asks for a glass of the rarest wine, which Fiona says is so precious she can only share a glass.

Probing further, Syrren tries to push her into saying some thing rude, tricking her by asking about the Vistani. He quickly discovers that she doesn’t see the Vistani that way. She passed the test.

As they sit down to a gorgeous spread of food, Tilly graces the dinner guests with a song – an ode to the sacred bubbly. As Tilly sips it, Syrren spins a harrowing tale of their time at the windmill, ending with a solemn vow to burn it to the ground. To that end, he presents a list of supplies to Fiona Wachter and asks for her aide in securing the items. She agrees to check with her networks.

The conversation continues, but Fiona Wachter has little to offer in the way of information about Strahd, the rules in Barovia, and where to find hard-to-find-items. But, she is very intrigued by a simple silver necklace that Syrren has from his dear departed brother. With Fiona Wachter’s repeated refusals to hold the silver bauble, Tilly grew more and more suspicious. She started to fear what Syrren must have already discerned.


“I’m afraid I am feeling ill and need to lie down back at the tavern,” Tilly swooned.

She asked Syrren to escort her and requested that all of her friends be there to attend to her tipsy condition (including a vigorous foot rub from a certain drunken dwarf). Syrren and Aydin picked up on the charade quite quickly and rose to leave, as well. The wise friends opted not to take a return ride from Ernst and headed down the street to the tavern. When they arrive, the bartender hands our friends a letter. They look from one to another, and slowly, gingerly, open the envelope…

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