Session 25 Clearing out the Winery

The Wizard of Wines Winery

Up the stairs they climb, taking the precious green gem with them…

The Fermentation Vats

The first room they enter has a pungent odor of fermenting wine and is full of large, looming barrels. The north wall features a chained door below a narrow balcony. Suddenly, they detect faint movement on the balcony. A female druid is barely visible from that distance, which works in their favor. She hasn’t yet noticed the crew, which provides only temporary relief. She is surrounded by small, twig-like creatures, numbering five from what our adventurers can see. Given how things have been unfolding, there are likely to be many more.

Fermentation Vats

As they sit, waiting, watching the druid priestess pace near the stairs, Syrren makes his move. He uses his elven magic to try and halt her movement. She seems to be unaffected by the spell but pauses as though she felt something. She asks, “Who’s here?”

Syrren, in response, steps from the shadows and introduces himself as Alfred. She seems to buy his ruse. She looks him over and asks if he knows Bruce. Syrren affirms that he does. Thinking she’s speaking to another druid, she tells “Alfred” that the plan will soon come to fruition. Satisfied that he is in on their plot, she moves out of the room.

Now free to explore, the crew begins to move around the room. It seems that every door leads to another room with even more barrels. Upon opening the last door in the fermentation room, they find themselves in the Barrel Makers Workshop. It’s full of tools and wood for making the large barrels in the other room. Tilly roots around and ends up grabbing some barrel clamps from a nearby table. The barred door in this room leads outside.

Hatching a Plan in Barrel Storage and Workshop

Barrel Storage

The group debates whether to follow the oblivious female druid up the stairs. Syrren plans to use his established relationship with her to lure her to the barrel making room. He tries to convince her that there is something she needs to see at the bottom of the stairs, but to no avail. She seems increasingly skeptical when he reports loud rumblings from the cellar.

Barrel Maker’s Workshop

As he continues to urge her, she relaxes her guard and agrees to go with him to check. She, too, wants to make sure everything is prepared and running smoothly for a “ritual” that is to take place later that night.

Syrren plays his role as Alford to a T. He reports that he didn’t trust Thompson (who was supposed to be in charge of protecting this area), so he followed through on the plans. He shares that he poisoned the wine and planted the fake gem. She nods, but asks, “You didn’t poison ALL the wine, did you?” She reveals more of the plan, saying that she plans to use it against Strahd.

As they move closer to the waiting adventure party, Syrren goes on to say that he has heard of a book that might interest her. Jaylin chooses this moment to hold her movement. She can neither move nor speak. They take away her staff. Before she is free from the spell, Syrren binds her hands and feet, and Tilly puts a head scarf in her mouth.

The History between the Druids and Martikov’s

Syrren begins to reason with her about a mutual interest in destroying Strahd. Tilly confesses to having to defend themselves and dispatch with Thompson.

The druid introduces herself as Tereska Antonovich, and she seems resolute in refusing a cooperated effort against Strahd. She tells the party that the ravens are agents of Strahd himself.

For almost 2000 years, the Martokoff family has been marrying into the family that originally owned the winery. We have come to take the last of the gems, two of which have previously been stolen. We have already completed our quest to take it and use it to begin our ritual.

The former owner of the home was a Mage, who formed a bond with Tereska and her fellow druids. The gems were a gift to the Mage.

We had been searching in vain for the Raven’s totem (the green gem), but we were able to scry for its location. We will not stop until we reclaim everyting! Now we can finally destroy this place.

The plan has already been set in motion, and Tereska will not hear the party’s pleas to spare the lives on innocents who may be collateral damage.

Syrren grows frustrated with the futility of talking with Tereska. He suggests taking her up the stairs to the roof so the wereravens can deal with her.

Investigating the Second Floor

Aydin, who is seemingly smitten with Tereska, gives her a not-so-subtle sniff and, throwing her over his shoulder, leaves the room. As the party follows, they enter a long corridor. Aydin opens a window in the long hall and holds Tereska out of it, As she resists, several wearravens catch her and fly her away.

Syrren implores the lingering ravens to be careful and updates them on what has happened inside the winery. Tilly calls to Uncle Mortimer and warns him that that they are not yet sure who to trust. She asks him to keep his ears open.

With that, the party turns back to the business of clearing the winery of danger. They hear loud noises coming from a room behind the first door they see. They each ready themselves for battle.

They open the door to find themselves in battle, once again. Before them are two needle blights and a large Druid.

Syrren immediately uses magic to try and immobilize the druid, but their formidable foe seems to be impervious to their attacks. the Druid manages to deal thunderous blows to Aydin and Tilly, knocking them backward, causing Tilly to crash into Thaldir. Term rushes forward to save his teammates and reduces the druid to a crumpled heap on the floor. He then turns his attention to one of the needle blights, rendering it bloody.

Izek follows suit, and tries to pound the blight in front of them, but it takes Thaldir’s mighty war hammer to dispatch it.

Aydin, Tilly, and Term continue to launch attacks at the remaining blight. It is Term who deals the final blow.

As the battle draws to a close, Term and Thaldir set about healing their fellow warriors.

As they explore the scene of their latest victory, Syrren discovers a book…a journal, which reads:

Davian Martikov’s Journal


We prepare the aged wine for shipment and begin the fermentation of last year’s harvest. The vine blights the previous seasons have caused a low production of the Barovia Stomp grapes we use to make the Champagne du le Stomp. There will not be enough to bottle a full case this year and for the first time, we will not be shipping any to S for the season. I hope the Vistani inform him, we plan to grow extra this year and will make sure to provide an extra case next season for him.

My sons and daughter prepared the wine barrels to begin the fermentation and bottled wines for trade. We will not be able to ship our full allotment, unfortunately, except for ‘BW.’

BW = 4 barrels of Purple Grapemash No.3 / 4 cases of Red Dragon Crush

BT = 3 barrels of Purple Grapemash No.3 / 2 cases of Red Dragon Crush

BV = 2 barrels of Purple Grapemash No. 3

K = 1 barrel of Purple Grapemash No. 3 / 2 bottles of Red Dragon Crush

VISTANI = 4 barrels of Purple Grapemash No.3

S = none

I must speak with the Vistani when they come, for we cannot continue to give them four barrels of Purple Grapemash No.3. I appreciate the protection and their trade, but with our harvest continuing to decline because of the vine blight plague, it is costing us dearly.

My daughter and her husband begin the cultivation for the summer. I make the pilgrimage to the Forest Fey Shrine with my daughter for the Spring equinox to pay tribute and thanks.


The vines are lush and heavy with bunches of grapes. The vine blight infestation has arrived as it does every year. This year it seems a little worse than years before. We have lost a few vines already and keep watch during the summer when they come to feed on the vines.

My daughter grows concerned about the vineyward, I tell her to fear not, for the Fey protect us and look after the harvest. My grandson travels with me to pay tribute to the Forest Fey during the Summer Solstice.

A merchant has arrived in search of a case of our most coveted Champagne du le Stomp, but I regret to inform him our harvest has not yielded enough, and the vine blights have been particularly difficult recently.

Seeing our angst dealing with the vine blights, the friendly merchant offers his help to rid the vine blights in exchange for a case of Champagne du le Stomp, when we are ready to harvest. I graciously accept his help and he has become close with the family over the recent weeks and has helped dispose of the vine blight pests.


The vine blight plague has been the worst I have seen in decades. They eat and suck the life from the vines and have attacked my sons. We have fought them off, but I fear our harvest will suffer greatly.

In the early morning mists, the winery was assailed by needle blights, the kind we have not seen. We have fended them off, but they continue to lay siege to the winery. We have been under siege for days. Our merchant guest has proven to be a valued ally, but he does not know of our true nature, and I fear exposing our secrets to any outsider.

I have spotted druids lurking in the woods to the south. I fear they may see this as an opportunity to raid our winery. We will attempt to push them back and make our way to the forest north of the vineyard with our belongings and seek aid. I fear for the secret which I have been entrusted with, as have my fathers before me for over four centuries. I am reluctant to expose the secret of the winery and I can only hope it remains safe as we make our hasty retreat. I shall return and ensure it remains safe and hidden from the darkness that has plagued our land.

Loot, Yo!

The adventurers are not sure what to make of the journal, but they continue to explore. Tilly and Jaylin open a chest and discover an assortment of coins:

16 Strahd Coins (which Tilly cautiously places in her bag)

64 Gold pieces

123 silver pieces

There is also a spell scroll to purify food and drink, which Jaylin keeps in is bag.

Thaldir uncovers a key in a hidden compartment of the bed post. The key matches the lock on the trunk that Tilly and Jaylin just opened.

There’s a slight breeze coming from the northeast corner of the room. Aydin and Term go to investigate. Syrren joins them just as they find a secret door leading to another room.

A Secret Passage

The Chase

Dire Wolf

In the room, there are more barrels and mechanisms for loading the wine onto wagons. As they enter, a lone druid jumps down from the loft and takes off running. Syrren transforms into a dire wolf and chases the druid as he runs out the door.

As Syrren reaches the fleeing druid, more needle blights appear, and the group is in combat, once again. Three large needle blights face off with the band of fighters. With efficient strikes, they terminate the three blights in a fury of strikes and spells. As even more blights appear, and as the druid seems unscathed, they prepare to fire their weapons again.

They continue to slash and obliterate needle blights until they have finally taken out those in close range. Jaylin’s firebolt and Aydin’s rage prove advantageous, and the warriors once again slay the druid and several blights. Fearing that there is a swarm of blights heading toward them, they move back inside the winery, with Aydin carrying the body of the slain druid.

Gulthias Staff

Aydin finds the druids glowing staff, and Term tries to divine its properties. The curious staff is the legendary Gulthias staff, which draws its power from the blood of the one who wields it. Knowing that it has the potential to destroy the one who is attuned to it, Aydin agrees to take the staff into his possession.

They continue upstairs to explore the remaining rooms. They find a room fit for small children where a rocking horse with “Blinksy’s” familiar tagline on its tag. They find another room with a printing press and wine labels, and a single druid appears from a long shadow.

Thaldir bravely takes the druid’s first blow and is knocked unconscious. Tilly tries to bind his wounds, and each of the adventurers launch attacks at their sinister foe. The druid, backed into a corner of the room, proves to be a challenging enemy. He deals blow after blow to the fighting party. When they finally are able to defeat him, there is much healing that needs to take place.

Though they’ve cleared many of the rooms in the substantial structure, there may be other dangers that lurk – here, and on the road ahead.

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