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Tamerath

Castle Ravenloft Session 1 / Part 1

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With the adventurer’s ready and decked out in their new gear they traveled to Castle Ravenloft. Up till now the party had a wizard with them, but after he went mad and obsessed with leaving the Dread Realm…they were left one short. Not really a problem these days in Barovia, as it seems that the mists have granted access to many an adventurer that now find themselves trapped and fighting for their lives. One such victim is Lucian, an Elven Avenger, who was lead by his god Correllon to fight a great evil here in these nightmarish lands. He has been a loner fighting against other fiends while hearing tales of others who, like him, seek to end their entrapment and free this land from it’s cruel tyrant. When word of assault of the villain’s castle reached him, he approached the party and added one more to their current roster. As they traveled the mountain pass and crossed the drawbridge leading into the clutches of Castle Ravenloft’s battlements, I had to wonder….were they really prepared to face Strahd? That answer would come sooner rather than later I fear….

The Characters
Caelvan - Elven Ranger
Lucian - Elven Avenger
Sorrow - Shadar-kai Swordmage
Alec Van Richten - Half-Elf Artificer

Note: For those Reading you can probably follow along with me in Expedition to Ravenloft for map composition, but I’ve changed MANY of the encounters to suit my own story agenda.

The Entry
The 50 ft. doors of Castle Ravenloft stood open before them with a well lit room….what laid beyond that was only darkness. As the party very cautiously entered the second room the room ignited in light and as they looked around they found the Devil Strahd himself on the stairway overlooking them. He warned them of invading his domain and with a gesture of his hand they were left in darkness again, surrounded by the gargoyle that stood silent only a moment before and were fighting back to back. Beyond their immediate battle they saw darkened ghostlike figures beyond them flying around them then traveling into the darkness beyond.


DM Notes: So the party are facing 4 9th level gargoyles and 2 10th level Stonewalker Spirits (Dungeon #160) The 4 vs. 4 gargoyles force them to split their damage while the Stonewalker Spirits fly down the hall to possess their statues (where the original doom guards were located in the original module). This part was successful. With the party stretched thin and fighting their own gargoyle…they weren’t really doing enough damage to kill them…which they soon found out when the gargoyles reverted to their stone forms and began to slowly heal, while the possessed statues rushed in to hammer the party. This was a very effective encounter. I could have simply taken the statues up higher into the domed ceiling and stone formed them that way if they ever tried to get out the front door they’d have to deal with them again….but frankly I thought it best to take it easy on them after 6 weeks of not playing and once the party started to work together they dropped fast. Was a bit on the slow side though…oh…and the fact that the spirits weren’t undead but corrupted earth elementals threw them off as well, as radiant damage didn’t do a thing for them this encounter.

After a brief rest the party continued to the dining room…where they came face to face with Strahd yet again, who invited them…..for dinner?!?! Hmmm..what tricks does he have in store for the party and what lies ahead in the first session…we will see in my later post

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Comments

  1. Otakar's Avatar
    Nice. I've been waiting for this one, Tameranth. I like how the gargoyles and Stonewalker Spirits collaborated. It's impressive that the party was able to rally and overcome. I look forward to reading more. Keep the faith!
  2. Dimthar's Avatar
    Quote: " ..an Elven Avenger, who was lead by his god Correllon to fight a great evil here in these nightmarish lands... "

    Deniaaal!! Sacrificed, Abandoned, Forsaken by Corellon IMHO.

    I see there is a 'Van Richten' in the party, perhaps related to the good old Doctor?

    3 Elfs and a Shadarkai, remind me, Was there any "Racist" attitude in Barovia? Did you role-play any scenes at the village?
  3. Tamerath's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar
    Quote: " ..an Elven Avenger, who was lead by his god Correllon to fight a great evil here in these nightmarish lands... "

    Deniaaal!! Sacrificed, Abandoned, Forsaken by Corellon IMHO.

    I see there is a 'Van Richten' in the party, perhaps related to the good old Doctor?

    3 Elfs and a Shadarkai, remind me, Was there any "Racist" attitude in Barovia? Did you role-play any scenes at the village?
    The Avenger told me his story and I immediately thought to myself "You sure it was your god leading you there?"

    As for the Shadar-kai...they are native to the shadowfell...and there are some villagers that are shadar-kai...as well as the Shadar-kai in the party is actually a native of Barovia. There are native elves as well (as well as the werewolf tribes in the Slavich Woods take on an elven appearance...and I've roleplayed that with both the Shadar-kai and the Ranger..tying in their stories to the lands. As for the Avenger...well..he just made his character at the table and I wasn't going to go through a big roleplay session when my group has been salivating over entering the castle...it'd slow the game down really. Besides...this Ravenloft campaign isn't ending with Expedition to Castle Ravenloft...it's continuing past that...so more opportunity to tie in backgrounds and the like in the future.

    Yes the Van Richten in our game is tied to the story of Rudolph Van Richten...which he came up with a really cool concept...and in play...I can see him actually surviving the castle...
    Updated 05-19-2009 at 06:40 PM by Tamerath
  4. Windstar's Avatar
    Excellent start, am looking forward to reading more.

  5. Dimthar's Avatar
    Now that I remember, it looks by the last "Domains of Dread" described by 4E that at some point Ravenloft is going to be located in the Shadowfell.

    Congrats! Great start ...

    Perhaps you already mentioned (although I don't seem to find it), What level are the PCs?
    Updated 05-20-2009 at 08:06 PM by Dimthar
  6. Tamerath's Avatar
    thanks all for the great response, oh and before I forget they are 10th level
  7. Garthungalor's Avatar
    Very cool start! I once purchased the Ravenloft box set back in the day but never had a chance to play it. I read it all and thought it was a great campaign but could not convince my friends to play it. Now I'll be able to enjoy it through your telling