Points of Light (DM: Michael)

The Resurrection of Lemac
Nov. 17, 328 F.N. (since the fall of Nerath)

We last left off with Brick and Mort being surprised to discover the animated armor and the animated broom they took from the haunted house were mysteriously missing. Brick then decided to pay a bunch of gold to a merchant in the Village of Barovia to use the shop’s forge to reshape a suit of plate armor for his squire, Jeff. Brick procured this suit of armor from the haunted house he had barely escaped earlier that day. He then proceeded to spend the next three days using the forge and his own skills to reshape the armor for Jeff as a gift because he deemed the squire finally trained enough to become a full knight. Meanwhile, Mort and Jaylyn decided to investigate the roads of the village a bit. While doing so, they discovered that the roads of the village were eerily uninhabited and silent, and most of the homes dilapidated, dark, and boarded up. Turning a corner, they encountered a single robed figure pushing a cart. The figure went door to door, knocking. Often, no one answered. But occasionally, someone did. Sometimes the figure was turned away, sometimes the people inside purchased something from the solicitor. Mort and Jaylyn then decided to hide between a couple of buildings and continue to watch as the figure drew nearer. They realized it was an old woman and she eventually stopped in front of another building closer to them and knocked. This time, the people inside answered and took something from the old woman and in return handed her a child. The woman took this child by the wrist and pulled him toward her wagon. The child struggled to escape and yelled for his parents to not let her take him from them. The old woman then stuffed the boy into a bag and secured him with straps and threw him into the cart. Seeing this, Mort and Jaylyn decided to attack. When they did, they discovered the old woman was a night hag, very powerful and evil. She struck back at Jaylyn, hurting her badly with magic missiles. Both Mort and Jaylyn then fled between the buildings to hide. When they did so, the hag ignored them and began wheeling her cart down the street again. She turned a corner and proceeded to head out of town. Mort and Jaylyn followed her and taunted her from a distance, but she continued out of town and disappeared into a mist. They then ran after her to investigate and save the boy. When they did, they found the hag gone, but her cart had been left behind with the boy still in it. They searched the cart, and found five pies in it with the boy who was still in the bag. Freeing the boy, they took him back to his home to his parents who seemed more concerned about getting more pies than about getting their son back. Mort and Jaylyn then went and retrieved the pies and tried to bring them to them. When they did and knocked, the boy answered. He whispered his parents were indisposed and begged for them to take the pies away and never come back. Mort and Jaylyn decided they would do so. They then took the cart to the mercantile where Brick was still working on the armor. Parking it outside, Jaylyn decided to try the pies. She ate two before falling into a deep trance. Mort took her inside and placed her under the watchful eye of Brick. He then left out the front door and slipped around the back of the building where he picked a lock to enter the building from a back door. He searched a few rooms for the merchant’s safe, but failed to find it. He then left through the backdoor and reset the lock, only to discover he was being watched by a Vistani. The Vistani, leaning against a building nearby, motioned for him to come chat with him. Mort did so. Unbeknownst to the rest of the characters, Mort made a deal with the man who was speaking on behalf of his master, the vampire Strahd. He told Mort that Strahd agreed to bring Lemac back to life, if Mort would agree to do three things. One, he needed to hand over the bag with the rest of Tictac’s body parts later that day. Two, he needed to return to the haunted Death House and take Lemac’s body down to the dais down in the basement with the altar where he then needed to make a TRUE sacrifice this time. It was here a that a long-dead cult once worshiped Strahd and made sacrifices. Mort was told he needed to sacrifice a LIVING person on the altar after laying the dead body of Lemac on the dais nearby. After accepting the deal, Mort returned to the rest of the party (Jaylyn was still sleeping in a trance) and asked Brick for the bag containing the remnants of the dead Tictac so he could go give it a proper burial; he also asked to borrow his squire, Jeff, to go with him and help him put the remains to rest. Brick agreed. Mort then returned to the Death House with Jeff where they found the lifeless, but completely intact, body of Lemac on the ground outside the house. In addition, they were surprised to find that the entire house had somehow rebuilt itself, as though they had never burned it. It’s front door was open and waiting. They went inside with the body of Lemac. When they did so, the doors shut behind them and the house sealed shut. They proceeded to make their way upstairs. Mort found his missing magic broom and reclaimed it. After making their way to the basement, he then concocted a story to get Jeff to walk in front of him up the stairs as they headed back upstairs, telling Jeff as they neared the top of the stairs that he had been trapped by whirling scythes and poison gas the previous time he had been in the basement, trapped until he made a sacrifice on the altar. Saying this, he told Jeff he had an idea and asked him to head back downstairs to show him. When Jeff turned to do so, Mort pushed him down the stairs. Jeff survived this fall and they battled each other until Mort knocked Jeff unconscious. He then tied up Jeff, brought him down to the altar, and sacrificed him on it. Lemac, dazed and confused, then awakened from death. Mort told him he was still beneath the Death House and convinced Lemac to get out of their as quickly as possible with him on his magic broom. Together, they flew up out of the house and back to the rest of the party. Brick learned his squire had died, so he then began using the forge to silver his lance instead. It was about this time that Jocelyn arrived in Barovia and found Lemac. Lemac’s mother was best friends with Jocelyn’s mother who, when she died, asked Lemac’s mother to watch over her daughter. Jocelyn subsequently followed Lemac, who she idolizes, (against Lemac’s wishes) all the way to Winterhaven and into the wilderness. She found Lemac’s campsite where her tracks disappeared and set up her own camp there as well, encountering a strange mist. When she woke up she found herself in a strange land. She then was pushed toward a set of gates, entered them, and made her way to the village of Barovia. It is there that she found Lemac and decided to make herself known to her. Upset that she had disobeyed her and left their ancestral homeland at such a young age, Lemac tearfully told Jocelyn to remain with them as they tried to figure out a way to survive this cursed land and get back home. She, Lemac, and Brick then went to a nearby home and investigated some anguished cries they had been hearing off and on for weeks. They found a woman named Mary who told them her daughter was missing. They calmed her down somewhat by telling her they would see if they can find her daughter and return her safely. Mort then fed her a pie, causing her to go into a peaceful trance. The party then decided to rest up in her home and wait until Brick was done putting silver on his weapon. This was after they had previously attempted to sleep in their wagon out in the village square the night before but been startled to find a massive ghostly procession rise from the nearby graveyard and head toward them at the center of town. They fled and hid in Mary’s home as the ghosts marched down the road through the center of town and continued out of town toward Castle Ravenloft. After resting up at Mary’s house, the party then decided to pay a visit to the village’s inn. There, they met three Vistani women and asked them some questions. They told them a few things about the Devil Strahd and the town and also suggested, that if they want to know even more, they should travel out of the village to the nearby Vistani encampment to see Lady Eva, the eldest of their clan. She knows many things. After speaking with these three women, a man named Ismark who was also sitting in the tavern asked them to join him. He then asked them to assist him in transporting his sister Ireena to a safer place, away from the village because she had been attacked by Strahd and his minions several times in the last few weeks. She was holed up in the burgermaster’s home nearby, and he told them that the burgermaster had died several days ago. The party agreed. They then traveled to the burgermaster’s home and met Ireena. She refused to go anywhere, though, until her father, the burgermaster, was buried properly at the village cemetery. The party members agreed to help her and Ismark take the body to the cemetery and bury it there. That was when they met Father Donavich. The priest, disheveled, tired, and hoarse, looked a bit out of it and disturbed, constantly praying in the chapel as they arrived. As they entered, they heard screams from the man’s son below the floorboards of the chapel pleading for his father to let him free. The priest explained it was his son and he was kept in the basement for his own protection. He then explained that his son had left to storm castle Ravenloft with a bunch of other villagers and a foreign wizard. The battle did not go well and most were killed. His son returned to him, but wasn’t the same…something had happened to him. Donavich has been praying night and day ever since in the hopes the gods will make his son better. You then asked Donavich to assist you in burying the body of the burgermaster outside. When you did so, upon finishing the task, you heard howls in the distance and wolves gathered around the cemetery outside the fence. A swarm of bats also settled inside the wall in the distance, coalescing into an ominous figure. Everyone then fled inside the chapel and sealed themselves inside. You have since spent a fretful afternoon and the night waiting for the ominous figure and the wolves to go away, all the while haunted by the cries and pleadings of the priest’s son, and listening to the incessant praying of the priest.

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The deaths of Lemac and Tictac
Nov. 13, 328 F.N. (since the founding of Nerath)

You now find yourselves outside of the burned-down wreckage of a cursed house where you spent two weeks being trapped inside. You were only able to escape after you finally decided to offer a piece of Tictac, your dead companion, in a sacrifice to the altar deep within the dungeons of the home. Tictac had been killed by a large fifteen-foot-tall beast in this same room after the beast was awakened by angry spirits who had demanded a sacrifice, but woke it up when you refused. Tictac was killed by the beast. The rest of the party was also severely injured (except the few people who remained in the house’s entry room upstairs watching over horses and donkeys and treasure). Shortly after that, Lemac was killed when he and the other survivors in the basement attempted to go back upstairs. Upon doing so, they discovered the doorways of the house upstairs had suddenly turned into whirling scythes and fire pits had suddenly begun to spew poison gas into the rooms and the windows were all suddenly bricked over. The interior walls were also strangely changed and infested with rat swarms that poured out and attacked you whenever you broke holes in the now-rotted walls. Brick and Mort barely survived and fled back downstairs to the safety of the dungeons where they then spent two weeks healing up and finally decided to appease the still-chanting spirits with a sacrifice, using part of Tictac’s body as the sacrifice. Once this was done, they spent time healing, then they went back upstairs where they found the house had gone back to normal. They then reunited with the people they had left behind and safely exited the house. In the process, they decided to leave Lemac’s body on the first floor and set fire to the entire house to burn him and the structure. The survivors then exited the building and watched it burn, Brick still carrying the last of the remains of Tictac in a bag. Shaken, distraught, and in mourning, you are now deciding what to do next. Brick has suggested you find a store to sell the items you took from the home. While in the home, you procured many suits of cumbersome plate armor, including a battered black suit of armor that came alive and attacked Brick. You also battled a magical broom, managing to capture it and tame it.

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Recap of previous year and two months
Oct. 23, 328 F.N. (since the founding of Nerath)

If you remember, the last we left off, you guys defeated a white dragon and returned to Fallcrest. You lived peacefully there for a year and two months. Brick was summoned to the Lord Warden’s keep where he was given a hand-delivered message from the Duchess of Winterhaven, a message that had been delivered by a Vistani gypsy. This message said: “Strange things have been happening in Winterhaven of late and one of your relatives has gone missing, Brick. Won’t you please come and investigate?”

Brick enlisted the aid of all his friends and together you have all set out for Winterhaven, taking a leave of absence from your duties at Fallcrest. Brick told the Lord Warden you would all be gone for possibly as long as two weeks and if it was longer than that he would send a message to the Lord Warden.

Along the way to Winterhaven, you met and befriended a tinkerer and his son, several families fleeing Winterhaven to make a new life elsewhere, and a merchant caravan consortium. You invited all of them to work with you and do business with you at Kobold Hall, which you now have under demolition and reconstruction as a possible future stronghold for yourselves. They also told you disturbing news that Winterhaven’s crops have been failing and, as a result, the people are falling on hard times.

Upon arriving in Winterhaven, you discovered a town full of people who are grumbling and on edge. The poor are going hungry and many rumors are circulating as to the reason why the crops have failed. Brick arranged for an audience with the Duchess and was told to await for her summons, if she agrees to one. Meanwhile, some of you went to the tavern to await her summons while Brick and one companion went to his family estate to visit Brick’s relatives. Brick then learned his aunt is distraught and his uncle is missing. Aunt Laurel pleaded for him to go and find her missing husband. She has pleaded for him to go and find him and bring him home safe.

And that is where we left off…

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