Session 24 The Wizard of Wines

Road to Winery

As the team moves toward their next adventure, they can’t help but ponder the events of the last several days. The importance of what lies ahead weighs heavily on their minds…and hearts.

After a half mile, their road turns to a muddy path. They come upon a sign pointing the way to a Vineyard, and they bravely trudge on toward what they know could be a grave encounter. A light rain begins to fall just as they enter the neatly tended rows of grapes.

Scarecrow at Road to Winery

A robed figure appears before them and motions for them to come forward. They move in his direction.

Davian Martikov

“You will want to stay away from here just now. It’s not safe. The vineyard is under heavy attack.”

He describes the blight infestation that has taken over the winery and driven out the workers. He seems hopeful, though, that these capable warriors might be able to rid them of these twig blights.

“I only ask that you be careful of fire. This is our home, and, to lose this place would take away so much joy from our Barovia.”

Several more people emerge from the shadows. Tilly asks the man, who introduces himself as Davian Martikov, if there are ravens or crows about. Seeing the swarm of ravens above her, she takes Uncle Mortimer from inside her waistcoat. She releases him with a nod to join the circling group of birds.

Meet the Family

As Mortimer mingles with the birds, the group is introduced to the family. Adrian, is Davian’s eldest son and helps him manage the winery. Stefania is his eldest daughter and she manages the vineyard. Stefania is married to Dag, who manages the process of bringing the grapes from the vineyard to the winery for processing. Their children are Martin, Viggo and Yolanda.

After introductions finish, Tilly beckons to her raven to rejoin her. She passes him to Syrren, where he perches on his shoulder and begins to whisper to him.

Davian looks on, interested in the exchange. Tilly presses him about whether or not he might know something of the rumors that individuals can shift their own shape into that of a raven. Her suspicions are fueled when he states that Urwin is also one of his sons and runs the Blue Water Inn in Vallaki with Danika.

“I don’t feel I can disclose that to you at this time. Perhaps when I know you better…”

Damian continues explaining the reason for his estrangement from his brother. A very precious gem housed in the winery was stolen on Urwin’s watch. Davian has never been able to forgive him for his negligence. Now, a second gem has been stolen – lost to the people who inhabit the forest.

No time for this…

When a raven squawks at Davian, he waves it away. When it happens a second time, he waves the bird away more forcefully. As conversation continues, the bird squawks quite loudly and lights on the ground. He transforms into the form of a man and shouts “Enough of this! We must reveal ourselves.”

Falkon Tomescu

The raven-turned-man introduces himself as Falkon. He says they are are the Keepers of the Feather and shares that they do not reveal themselves easily. But, during this crisis, it is imperative that they work together. Falkon says that the last of their gems, which remains in the winery, must not fall into the wrong hands. He implores the traveling warriors to help and promises to help Uncle Mortimer in return.

The last gem is the Fey Green gem, and it is kept hidden in the cellar in a secret passage. Syrren speaks for the party and agrees to help the workers. He asks only that the winery remain in its current location and not encroach on the domain of the forest people.

Davian says that he and his family of wereravens will distract the twig blights so the adventurers can pass to the winery.

To the Winery

vine blight

Even with the aide of their shape-shifting friends, the group finds themselves surrounded by angry vine blights. The group seems hungry for victory, as they quickly brandish their weapons of fire and steel and dispatch the blights with relative ease. Term and Aydin are slightly bruised, but Thaldir provides a healing hand for their wounds.

Spying a door that is hanging open, they dash across the area between the vineyard and the house and take refuge near a wagon. The wagon doesn’t provide sufficient cover from the needle blights, who begin to approach on either side. Aydin leads the pack and takes a hit from the needle attack, while Syrren changes position to aim his mighty thunderbolt at one of the blights, striking it down. Tilly raises her arms as though in a trance, summoning a shattering, thunderous sound, killing all three of the remaining blights.

Wizard of Wines Winery

In the Cellar

The party of fighters moves inside the winery, slowly descending the stairs to the basement. Term makes himself invisible and moves stealthily through the corridor. Syrren, finding himself disoriented, knocks one of the wine bottles from a shelf. Upon hearing the bottle shatter, more needle blights and a druid emerge from the dark recesses of the basement. Tilly is the first to attack, and she uses her shortsword and dagger to kill one of the offending blights. Distracted, she isn’t able to move out of the way of a needle attack from a second blight.

needle blight

Term remains invisible and positions himself close to a group of waiting blights. Syrren tries to communicate with his Druid brethren to bring some sort of truce. Though he holds the Druid in a state of paralysis, the stubborn woodland creature refuses to respond to Syrren’s queries.

Tilly, Aydin, and Thaldir continue to battle the blights, killing them one by one, as Term, no longer invisible, joins them in dealing critical blows. Once Aydin plunges his spear into the final needle blight, Syrren, again, turns his attention to talking with the Druid. He releases the spell holding the Druid but binds his hands to prevent spellcasting.


Now free to communicate, the Druid says, “They will pay.” He further tells Syrren, “We need the gem. We will take it.” Syrren tries to reason with the Druid, who seems to want the gem as a weapon against Strahd. The imposing Druid is bent on killing anyone is his path, including the adventurers before him. Despite Tilly’s offer to work together to defeat Strahd and Syrren’s continued warning that continuing to attack will mean death, the Druid stays resolute.

After the group realizes the futility of their efforts, Thaldir and Tilly deal the final, fatal blows to the Druid.

The Secret Passage and the Gem

While rooting around the fallen Druid, Term finds a vile of a sticky substance, which Tilly also finds around an opening of one of the barrels. She stabs the remaining barrels, spilling the potentially poisoned wine onto the floor.


She and Term move the opposite side of the room and begin feeling along the side of the walls. Just beside an area where Term feels a slight breeze, Tilly finds a latch to open a secret door. The door opens to a moldy room with a lengthy corridor. Aydin uses his sword to dig in the dirt, where he uncovers a large green gem. It appears to be the one described by the wereravens.

Satisfied with their find, but concerned at what might be lurking in the rest of the winery, they ascend the stairs to continue exploring the dark, moldy interior.

Until next time…

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