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The church

The Church was, by this point, in a sad state. I could almost feel the undead rot that was festering in the town creeping into the church grounds. The divine power that secures this place is surely suppressed. There was a minor debate as to tactics, yet my senses could detect the foul abominations within the doors and I did not hesitate to enter.

There was a hole eaten in the center of the asile, halfway to the... remnants of the altar. We moved but a few steps in when the master of this place challenged us. An oppressive cold, the cold of death, descended upon our group. Ashlyn fell, struck by the foul power of the dark deities, instantly slain, he soul ripped from her body. Thank you Pelor for the protection you bestow upon us, and welcome your faithful servant with open arms. My concerns are cut short as the groaning of zombies escapes from the adjacent rooms.

Sir Vas and Ari move quickly towards the main threat, in hopes to subdue them quickly. My Uncle summons a celestial badger to aid them, Vasssago disappears through the weakened floor, followed quickly by the badger, though the knight appears in its place. My uncle cackles behind me, the battle quickly turns. Ari is frozen, and undead now flow from the adjacent rooms. Pelor's migh flows through me, and his hand guided the axe Vassagio lent me. One by one they fell, though they kept me occupied, and Vas was up against a significant foe, and Ari is paralysed. Even with pelors might they were too much for me, though St Cuthbert lent a hand, as my uncle used his magics to stall enough of the creatures before he fell. Summoning pelor's might, I healed my wounds, so that I might stay the fight, and summoned Pelor's Sunscepter to harry our foes. I reached behind me, and with a touch brought my uncle back from the brink so that he, too, could continue.

We were victorious, but at a great cost. Ashyln, and her companions have all been claimed by the dark forces here, companions of my order and defenders of my faith. What power is stirring that consumes such light.

Their names I praise the highest in my prayers, may they find themselves at Pelor's side, and rest at last.

The dead do more than walk

     The church appeard to be a gateway to hell as my companions and I stood before it.  The foul stench of death & rotting corpses filled the air surrounding this once holy place, and to think, we have yet to venture inside. As we embarked  towards the main enterance, I cautiously prepared for any vileness to come by warding myself with a protective spell called Mage Armor and increaing the strength of my young newphew's strength with the power of a bull through one of my many useful spells.  
     Prepared and very nervous, I followed my companions into the door only to hear an incohearant chanting from behind the altar.  From behind the altar rose a cleric of death...how true that statement is, for he called upon the side of darkness and summoned a circle of death that engulfed my allies and I.  Unsure of who exactly was the target, but unfortunately Ashlyn, the Paladin of Light, fell before the villianous cleric's wrathful spell.  Mental note, last rites, loot body, make sure paladin does not come back of undead....what? we have to fund this campaign somehow.
     Now with no time to spare, we took to battle.  Obviously a cleric of this calibur could not be left to desicrate this weakened town any longer.  Ashlyn moved with grace & speed, closing some distance, moving along the left hand wall ducking around the corner, taking cover behind a row of pews. Vas followed suit and motioned towards the right side....nice tactics, catch the flanks of the cleric and divert his attention.  Time to play.... calling upon my my arcare arts, ooh I love this part....I summoned forth one of my many companions, a celectial badger named Hctib Elttil, right next to the Evil cleric....merry christmas, here's a present you'll not like. Then it happened.

     The doors of the rooms to either side of the enterance burst open and the foyer became flooded with Zombies.  Pyrus called forth the power of Pelor, errupting the damned foyer in a silvery flame as he attampted to destroy the zombies....what? They're still up....ok, who juiced up the zombies?  Damn bastards have been eating their wheat filled gruelies.  This is not a good sign, especially for a frail old man like me...er I mean seasoned.  
     The Evil cleric then dominated Ari's will and through the divinity of darkness, broke Ari's will holding her in place...check.  Vas fell through the floor, Hctib Elttil ferociously attack...well as ferocious as a badger can, begining her rage.  Time to bring Vas back to the playing feild.  Baleful Transpositioning him back to the right side of the Cleric...on his back, but atleast he's not seperated from us...but that now puts Hctib Elttil alone downstairs by herself, well lets take take of that right away and unsummon her.....we'll see you again my dear badger.  the Zombies that could move attacked with ferocity...I'll be feeling that one later....no wait, now!  The one Zombie attacked with such power, I instantaneously felt the impact on my chest as if it was impacting with a maul weilded by a titan....good thing the Zombie isn't a titan.
     The battle pressed on, Zombies eploded into dust, while frozen in place, much like Ari from my spell that halted undead.  Pyrus was accosted by the Deathlock as is barraged him several timees with attacks.  Much to my dismay, I also was barraged with attacks that I fell from the battle, the world grew dark, my body grew so weak, collapsing into a stae the none wish to see.  My life began to flash before me as I lay on the floor dying.  Growing up wwatching over my younger sister, Pyrus's mother, much like I watch over him now...just I was more kind to her than he.  St. Cuthbert he looks so much like his mother, they both have the same fire in them.  My studies in school, the other children mocking me for I prefered the company of  my summoned creatures to that of human contact. And the day that my young newphew showed up at my door asking for me to help my sister...that's the day I gave him the ring that allowed him to be resiliant to my devastating spells.  Darker the world grew for me with each passing second, it seemed like an eternity.  Have I always been this frail, or is it just to me being so old...maybe I should have looked to other paths when I was young.  I knoow I did not hear the call of St.Cuthbert, so the way of my newphew was not an option, I never had the ferocity to be a warior and the thought of hugging the trees, they ways of a Druid never appealed to me.  I am not charsmatic as the talespinners or discilined as the monks that hide away in the hills....and there's no way I'm as graceful and acrobatic as Ari.....Ari! I hope that she is still alive, as each day passes she seems like the daughter I never had, mych like Pyrus is seeming more like the Son I always wanted ut never bore.  And Vas, he has helped watch my back like a brother should...younger brother but still none the less.  They are my family, all that remains and now I have failed them.
     What..is...that? Pyrus?  My eyes opened only to see my young newphew standing over me, blessed be Pelor's might, he shines upon this Lightbringer and St. Cutherbert still wills me to bring vengence to those who deserve it.  Painfully gathering my senses and gaining my ground once again, I surveyed the battleground.  Nearly all the enemies have been dispatched, 2 remaining that Pyrus is more than capable of handling, Ari's back in the game, Vas...well he's looked better.  SQUISHY!!!!  Appearing close to the Deathlock, Squishy , my small earth elemental companion appears, beginning his forcful attacks as I begin to move towards the battle, keeping my distance launching spatters of acid at the deathlock.  Our enemies fell before us as Pyrus summoned forth the feiry light of Pelor once more in a resort to keep us all alive, and it worked for the Deathlock and remaining Zombies fell beneath his power.  
     We proceeded to search the bodies, Pyrus performing the last rites to Ashlyn before searching the basement of the church.  At the altar I found a Libre with notations on how to make some of the damned that we just encountered.  Summoning forth the acid into my hands again, I disolved  the book in just moments, but then I found some information which was interesting, the daughter of the burgomaster, was not his daughter at all, for he found her when young and raised her as her own.  in the basement we found more that will aid us on our quest.  In total, we suited Vas with new armor, weapons and sheild, Pyrus regained a morningstar, Ari now has a luscious amulet which is now keeping her more health and I found an alternative to my incantations.  A light crossbow of exceptional quality and many of bolts to fill.
   We went out to the graveyard out back and found a gravesite that has been dugup many of times which leads us to a tunnel that runs below.  Definately something we must look into, but first, let us bury the fallen paladin, pool our resources and lick our wounds.  We managed to find a backpack with an extradimensional space inside to hold a larger amount of booty and weighs next to nothing.  Tomorrow is another day, one that I fear will be worse of than today.

The day began with a discussion of our options after we updated the sleeping conjurer. In the end, we decided to head first to the mansion, to see the burgomaster's daughter, and hopefully get the Symbol of Ravenkind. She refused to let us in while zombies still roamed the city, but told us the symbol had been stolen.

Next we headed southwest to Madame Eva. After crossing a stone bridge, we reached a crossroads. A gallows rested between the diverging roads, and a signpost told us that the castle lay to the west, and north was Tser Pool. Across from the gallows a small graveyard rested. A sudden yell grabbed our attention as an armored man charged towards the graveyard, drawing his sword. A raven flew after him and landed on his shoulder. Three dark shadows surrounded him.

We rushed in to battle and quickly found that mundane weapons would not harm the ethereal creatures. Pyrus was quick to call upon his God to dispose of the undead creatures. We spoke for some time with the knight, who introduced himself as Urik, last of the Knight of the Raven. HIs bird he said was Hurrun. Strangely, Sabriel kept trying to speak to the bird in strange languages. Urik spoke of his order, and Sabriel told Pyrus to seek initiation into it. He must pray in the chapel of the castle however, and that may prove a challenge.

We headed north towards Tser Pool, and soon came upon the Vistani camp in which Madame Eva dwelled. I did my best to convince Madame Eva that we needed her help, and she did a card reading for us.

Of Strahd, she told us that he lives in the castle, and his enemy is the light. He will find us many times, but we would find him once in the place where the three servants of hell are slain. A spawn of hell would be at the top of a tower, served by three. She said that Strahd searches for warmth from a light, and to win this light he seeks to face the sun without fear. He seeks to found a dynasty with his lady.

On the SunSword, she told us it is a blade of light used for vengeance, and would be found at the crossroads. To wake it, she said, we must bring it to the crypts of the castle where the castle's lord has his source.

The symbol of Ravenkind she said would give protection from the darkness, and would be found in a place of commerce. It needs the hands of holiness, and to be reunited with the one who carried it's name to awake it's power. She said to seek the crypt of Ravenovia.

The zombies she said stem from the first death, a blasphemy that refused to die. We must end the source, which is in the church.

Leaving the Vistani camp, we headed back to the crossroad and began digging in the graves for the sword. It was Sabriel who found it. As we were loosing the light, and none of us felt safe traveling in the dark, Sabriel summoned two creatures to carry us as far as they could. After that, we began to run as Sabriel and I heard the sound of a swarm of bats. We ran for the town, jumping over a low barricade and made for the tavern. I could see bats lined along the eaves of the buildings. Sabriel took the sword to Ashlyn, who recognized it as the SunSword, but asked us to carry it. It seems I now have a more powerful weapon in our quest.

In my attempt to learn more about the sword, I learned that it needs to be bound to it's wielder, and that Strahd had employed a wizard to destroy it by separating the pieces. Luckily, the wizard's apprentice rescued the pieces at the cost of his life.

In the morning we headed across the square to the shop, owned by Bildrath and his nephew Perrywimple (who we were told was a bit slow in the head). It took all the money we had to convince him to allow us into his back room to search for the symbol. I quickly rummaged through a shelf and found it, unfortunately while the shopkeeper was watching. Pyrus had no choice but to trade his magical weapon for the item.

With nothing left to do in the town, we gathered Ashlyn and headed for the church to rescue her companions and stop the zombie plague.

Mar. 7th, 2007

excerpt from the journal of Ashlyn the Lightbringer Paladin

Ninth day in this accursed place. I can't seem to convince any of the locals to help with the fight against the zombie incursion, although I have been able to round up most of them into the town square and get help with barricades. Palor keep Thendrick and Mathilda safe. Why did they have to go without getting advice and being as prepared as possible.

Tenth day I was being overwhelmed by zombies and, Palor be praised, help arrived. Furthermore the help was from two of my fellow Lightbringers a Knight and wizard who seems a little suspicious. He can't be all bad though, Pyrus seems to trust him. We talked about our mutual missions i told them about the Sunsword and my companions, Palor keep watch over them. They told me about a missing farmer it might be a good idea for them to ask some of the locals about him.

Eleventh day, they set out to speak with Madam Eva agreeing to help me find my companions at the church when they return. Although it has been so long i fear the worst. They returned just after dusk and, light be praised, they have the Sunsword. Although it is damaged this is a great omen. They agreed to set out for the church first thing in the morning.

excerpt from the journal of Sir Urik a Knight of the Raven

My fifth battle of the day was my most interesting. Some strangers came and actually helped me fight the evil. They inquired about my order, so I told them. Including the fact that I was the last. I thought that the knight might wish to join but it was a wizard who asked about joining my order, even though he was asking for the cleric. I just pray that this isn't a trick being played on me by the cursed one again. they spoke of a zombie incursion into the town. It has been to long since i visited there to keep an eye on things. And vanquishing evil is always good for the spirits.

Our sights narrow on the castle...

It took some time to fully discuss our options to my uncle in the morning after my prayers. By Pelor's grace we all seemed more vital today than yesterday, and our arts and skills seemed more practiced. We were at once both excited and cautious at moving forward today. Our comrade, Ashlyn, to my relief, offered to stay and guard the tow until such time as we approached the church. We decided on consensus to approach the mansion first, then move onward to madame Eva's encampment. The townspeople's insistence being our guide.

The Madam of the Mansion did not wish to compromise her security to let us speak face-to-face, and though my uncle attempted a ruse, I did not feel that tricking the members of this village to be the best interest. Thankfully she did not fall for the ruse, but provided us with some measure of information from her safe position. We promised in return to return when we are sure to have eliminated all of the undead hoarde, and found a cure for the disease.

The trip to madame Eva's encampment brought us past a crossroads, where the village gallows stood. Such a place is always a focus for malcontented and restless spirits. This day was no exception, yet the powerful evil in this land lent a more powerful bent to the spirits inhabiting it. A flash of steel accompanied the shape of a human, wreathed in the shadows of a number of murks - semi-ethereal beings, and foul undead with the power to drain a soul's energy. Pelor's might was more than enough to dispatch them, though in their parting they managed to inflict a minor curse upon me, dulling my wits with their cursed power. After their passing we were left with a new ally, a Knight of the Raven, Sir Urik. He told us of his organization, one devoted to defeating evil and banishing undead. Who's existence in this land was threatened by the actions of a fallen former member. I felt my heart drawn to this man, alone in this land, persecuted by those he is trying to help, a lone ember in the encroaching darkness. I spoke with him at some length about his order, "Perhaps", I told him, "the might of Pelor may be aid your cause and bring light to this land." He spoke to me a of a ritual that must be performed by night in the chapel of Ravenloft castle

I was lost in thought through most of the rest of the journey to madame Eva's. The small encampment ringed a small circular tent. She was, predictably, expecting us. She told us of the Sunsword, and where to find it - among the bones of the condemned. She told us of the symbol of Ravenkind, and where we could find it, warning us that it carried a price. She told us of the zombie plague, and how to stop the spread, and even reverse the effects. Lastly she told us of Strahd, the master of the castle, and the root of the blight on this land. She told us the Sunsword would strike a great blow against him, in the bowels of his fortress, She told us the symbol could greatly aid us in our fight against him, and she told us that "though he may find us many times, we will find him but once.", at the top of a tower guarded by three summoned fiends. I understand now that the castle is our goal. Strahd must be stopped, though I still hold hope for redemption of all souls - if the vileness that shrouds this land spreads forth from him - his soul may be beyond my power to save, I have another name to add to my prayers.

The Sunsword was relatively simple to acquire, though the bodies of the condemned deserved better, I thanked them and gave them Pelor's blessings. May they find mercy in his arms. Our travel back to the village of Barovia was cut short by an amazing display from my Uncle, who summoned two hippogriffs and left us flying more than a half mile, cutting our journey in more than half. However a great swarm of Bats was tight on our heels, and bent on damage. We took shelter in the inn for the rest of the evening. The next morning left us at the mercantile looking for the symbol, the shopkeeper was less then cordial, though I could feel the rush of blood in my veins when I can feel Pelor's hand guiding me. I parted with my gold to get the chance to search for the symbol. We found it! And upon first laying my hands upon it I could feel the silence. For several moments I could feel nothing but the weight of it. The cold, finely crafted platinum. I could almost feel time slow to a halt. I felt the weight of Pelor's guiding hand leave my shoulders as he waited for me to choose my own path. Only the sound of my heartbeat, and though it weighed less than 5 pounds I could feel the weight of it heavily in my hand as if it was a hundred. It had warmed to my touch and in my hand I could feel the faint trickle of magical energy filtering through. The decision was easy, as I drew my most powerful weapon and placed it on the counter. I heard myself offer it as trade unconcerned by the gulf in value, this symbol contained more worth for me now than any mundane weapon, it was a message from my god, a missive. My path now leads me to the Castle Chapel.

Only the fate of my fellow lightbringers at the Church keeps me away, and as we approach, I am sure now that I will eventually complete the ritual, and become a Knight of the Raven, in the Glory of Pelor, The Shining One, the bringer of light, the enemy of all that is evil and the champion of those in need.

Day 3 Of Barovia

     The days are growing more weary here in the land of Barovia.  The villagers of this town are more bleak than sitting through a sermon in a church on a lovely day.  Their hopes grow more and more diminished as each day passes.  And the days seem to be more fearful each time I wake in this god-foresaken land.  This morning I came down to find out my comrades have already gathered some more-than-useful information on certain magikal items that we may use in the quest to rid this land of the damned.  A pendant from a once famous knighthood known as the Order of the Raven and the SunSword.  They informed me that Ashlyn's comrades we last seen in the church, that there is a woman locked away inside her own home who may have information on where to find the pendant and that there is an encampment of  Vistani Gypsies with a wise old fortune teller who will be able to guide us in our perils.  Breakfast here is tolerable, though I still rather perfer the food of my hometown seeing the fake smiles of drunken souts at the local tavern.

     So off to see the woman who barracades herself in her home.  But only s hort journey there, seemed like forever when it comes to tavel now a days with these old & weary bones.  Age seems to be setting in.  We arrived to see an older style home boarded up.  The woman was indeed still in her home, though I know not how she gets her food, for she refused to open up the door and let us in until all the Zombies were dispatched.  Trying to ruse her, I claimed that they have all been dispatched as far as we knew.  Damn Zombie walking behind be in a distance, moaning blew my ruse out of the water worse than a rival mage summoning a Meator Swarm into a barn.  At this point she refused more than ever to allow us in, even through the valiant efforts of our Lightbringers Pyrus & Ari trying to coherse her into allowing us entry through diplomacy.  Although the for of use were not permitted enterance, we managed to gather some information.  We found out through a barrage of questions that she no longer possesed the Pendant we sought, she believed it to be stolen by some evil scoundral possibly working for the villianous Count Strhad. That and she would allow us entry once we eliminated all the Zombies in town.  Looks like we have our work cut out for us, *sighs*.

     And now yet another boring trip over to the Vistani, or so I would had prepared to believe.  Looks like this old Conjurer was wrong.  As we came to the fork in the road, we came across the hallows and a small graveyard where the damned are burried.  A blur of hope flashed before us as a armor clad figure battled what I know as Murks, incorporeal undead minions of darkness. Accompanied by his faitful Raven, he pressed on to battles the four fiends which began to surround him. "Oh hell no...", I thought to myself.  "...There is no way we are leaving one man to fight the dakness by himself", finished off my thought pattern, but by this time, my brave Newphew Pyrus and his fellow Lightbringer Ari, were already looking to the power of their hearts to join the battle...well that and it gave it away with their weapons being brandished in their hands.  Our swift eleven companion Ari closed the gap to the Murks quickly, I following close behind, only to trip over the small fence to the graveyard as my heavy robes got caught on the top of the fence.  Quickly pulling myself to my feet, I started my conjuring, bringing forth the reserve of my magick.  As my hand started to drip with the green acid of the arcane arts, Sir Vas & Pyrus clsed the gap with in monets to bring forth their arts.  Vas moving to a solitary creature, cutting off its path to the rest of us, good move young knight, well manuvered.  Atleast I know I can count on him to watch my back.  My newphew pulled forth to the rest of us and started to glow with the power of his leige Pelor.  The mysterious warrior attacked with a fury unmatched to one of the undead, Ari following in with her stealth, catching one of the Murks unaware, I launched the acid that had built up in my hand, finishing off one of the Murks, only for Sir Vas and Pyrus to both bring forth their power in a awsome combination.  As Pyrus errupted the battlefield with the ambient feiry glow of Pelors Might to Destroy the undead, Vas had hit his opponent with suck force that it caused it to dissapate into nothingness.  I was in awe over this but was not about to let anyone see it, so I pulled my hood of my robes lower to cover my face.  We as a whole approached the mysterious warrior and began our conversation.  We found out that his name is Urik, a Knight in the Order Of The Raven, an Order devoted to disposing the undead of the land.  This immediately cuaght the attention of my young newphew.  His eyes light up like the sun of his god.  Urik informed us of the history of the pendant that we sought, that he never heard of the Sunsword and that the villagers looked poorly upon his Order.  As shame it is, maybe by aiding in the riding of the Zombies that Plague the Village, they might find faith in his fallen Order again, seeing as how he is the last...well, maybe we can change that too.  I immediately inquired as to how one would become a member of this "lost" Order.  Urik instructed that one must be able to channel the powers of the Gods, spend a night in complete prayer in the Temple which lays in Castle Ravenloft and must be skilled in the art of combat.  All which my proud newphew displays the ability to already do or is willing to accomplish.  Pressing ,y foot firmly on the back of his knee, Pyrus kneeled to the ground to have Sir Urik begin Pyrus's iniation into the Knighthood.  Hope has now been restored to this lost Order, and the name of this hope, is Pyrus.  The brave Knight, Sir Urik depated our company in the direction of the town and we proceeded to the encampment of the Vistani.  

     Dark eyes and tanned skin watched our every motion as we entered the encampment, my bones more sore due to the repitition of the frequent battles we've had as of late.  I know not how much longer this old man can handle this, I fear at one point my guard may be down to age and that may be my demise.  One of the Vistani approached us and guided us through the camp to the old Fortune teller.  GOD DAMN, this woman was huge, not to mention UGLY.  Upon casting my gaze on this..."woman" *shutters*, I immediately felt that an Orc in a loin cloth was more attractive.  But through Ari's persuasiveness, the woman...was favorable towards our party.  We found out that the Lord of the Castle Ravenloft would see us many times, but we shall only face him once, the Sunsword would be where the paths cross, where they buried the damned.  The Pendant would be in good hands.  With my hands still tucked in the steelevs of my robes, I reached for 3 gold coins, reached for the old womans gnarly hand and forced myself to not vomit as I kissed her hand, slipped her the gold coins and thanked her for her aid.  As we set back out, we headed for the crossing of paths where the damned were buried, the same spot where we met Sir Urik.

     When arriving, Ari made way for the Gallows, Sir Vas aiding her.  They shared the task of using Sir Vas's sheild to start digging and begin looking for the lost sword of the sun.  Pyrus and I made way to the graveyard on the one side of the road and while he started with the newer of graves, I summoned my two faithful Celestial dogs via means of the simplest of magikal arts.  As my two faithful hounds materialized before me, the tree of us started digging at one of the oldest looking graves.  While they two hounds were only in existance for approxiamtely forty-five seconds, they were more than helpful to help me in my digging.  the four of us laboured for hours in desperate search of this long lost sword.  And around the same time, both Pyrus & I heard a "thud" as we each found a coffin, several feet under.  I summoned forth the element of Acid to my hand yet again and cleared a small hole in the face of the coffin, enough for me to see what I needed to.  A armor clad warrior clasping the remains of a damaged ancient sword, one that glowed with the future of hope...the Sun Sword.  Though hilt missing, I made a larger hole trying to get the sword out, Ari came over to aid me in my dig and we cleared the way enough to retrieve the Sword.  Vas & Pyrus called over as the sun was starting to set asking if we found anything, and all in joy, we had.  A  debate quickly arose as to whether to head back to the Vistani camp which we would surely make by nightfall or to head to the city.  All were in favor for the encampment except me, I had another idea.  I asked my new found family if they would prefer the city if I would be able to expediate out travels, none knew of what I spoke of, though my newphew had a slight of smiles, knowing this old sage always had something up my sleve.  Using the most powerful of magicks I know as current, I summoned forth two hippogriffs to our aid.  Vas & Pyrus mounted the one, Ari & I only to mount the other, then the suprise for my family came, not only were we moving at over five times the normal speed we would if we had walked at my newphews slowed pace, but through yet two more spells I had prepared, I increased the speed yet another notch.  

     We set down fifteen minutes outside the village, only to find myself more exhausted than I have ever been.  Weary and tired from exherting my magikal energies, my newphew came to my aid to hold me up, then it came.  A sound in the distance, one of which I did not like.  A swarm....Strahd's minions I suppose.  A swarm of bats were moving like a tidalwave looking to devour a small city at waters edge.  "MOVE, BATS!", I cried out  as I found a new inspiration of energy to move with haste again.  Ari kept up with me, Vas hung back Pryus to cover our backs while we make a break for it.  Such loyal friends are they.  They pursued us as fast as they could.  Handing the Sun Sword to Ari, letting her move ten feet ahead to guide the way, we all ran with everything in us.  The soft blue hue of the sword errupted into a violent Sapphire Red glow.  Over the barracaed in the center of town to safety we made, Vas launched over with no problem, Pyrus on the other hand, clumsily had to have Vas & I aid him over.  Ari retrieved Pyrus's sunrod from the ground, handed me back the Sunsword and we made way to the tavern/inn.  As we made our way there, Ari noticed aloft of bats upon the eavestroffs of the buildings.  Once inside, we informed the according people of what transpired and what we discovered.  Ashlyn was pleased.  Pyrus then had the bright idea to check on the bats outside and as they barraged his head, they took a small chunk of hair from him.  I jokingly told him it all had to come off now.  We pressed the room for more information, found little of use...or in my opinion it is.  We made way for slumber, only to awake and have our morning breakfast, prepare ourselves for yet another exhausting day.  We crossed the court of town to the local merchant, whom we had to convince to let us in.  What's with everyone being so damn paranoid in this place, jeez, lighten up people.  After much of smooth talking, and seventy gold peices of bribery later, we were allowed into the back room of the merchants shop to see his "other" wares.  Splitting up, we each took various shelves and to our luck, Ari found the Pendat of the Raven we sought.  No with no gold, we had no idea on how to barter to get this pendant which we so desperately needed.  That's when Pyrus stepped forth.  He offered his prized magikal morningstar as trade, which the shopkeep agreed upon.  Now with both Pendant & Sunsword in hand, Ashlyn at our side, the Summoners of Light made their way to the church in search of Ashlyn's missing comrades.  This church looks like Vecna himself threw it up and called it his art.  I only hope we make it through whatever lays forth within.........
Sabriel made breakfast out of his trail rations for us this morning. We then tore down our barricade and headed out further in to the town. The sound of battle came from the northwest, and we headed in that direction. On the way we stopped at a boarded up house from which we heard sobbing. Inside we met Mad Mary, who pinned for her daughter Gertruda, who had left before the rise of the zombies. We rebuilt the barricade and left her to her home, as she refused to leave.

Traveling further, we reached the source of the battle noises, but a nine foot barricade blocked the road. Pyrus and Sir Vas knew that they would be unable to climb it, and began to attack it. I, of course, climbed swiftly over it and found a latch on the other side. I could see Ashlyn fighting a swarm of zombies across the square. I moved over to a strange looking zombie and began to attack it, but my blade did nothing. Suddenly, the creature attacked and I found myself buried beneath the earth. In a panic, I clawed desperately for the surface. By the time I reached air again, the battle had much progressed. Both Sir Vas and Sabriel had been forced beneath the ground as well, but Pyrus had managed to turn many of the zombies. He healed us all and we headed for the local inn.

In the in, which was now called the Blood on the Vine Tavern, but was once Blood of the Vine. I bought a drink for a well dressed but ragged man in the corner booth, and he told us he was Ismark, son of the burgomaster. He told us that his father had been poisoned and died before the zombies attacked the town. He told us that Strahd, master of Ravenloft castle had visited his father shortly before his death, and that the burgomaster had used a symbol of Ravenkind, a magical artifact, to harm Strahd and force him away. After his father's death, Ismark said, the artifact ceased to work. His sister still resided at the mansion and had the symbol. We showed him the letter we had been given at the last Inn we had stopped at, but he could not recognize the handwriting, and stated that his father had already been dead at the time. He also said that the local priest, Damovich, used to ward the town against evil, but had stopped, falling into despair after his son Doru was slain by bandits. The church was the source of the zombie plague, he claimed.

We attempted to talk to some Vistani in the tavern, but they simply told us in thick accents to seek out Madame Eva. Talking with the Lightbringer Ashlyn brought worrisome news, as her companions, Thendrick and Mathilda, had gone to the church three days prior and had not been heard from since. They too had been encouraged to seek out Madame Eva. She said that they searched for the Sun Sword, a powerful weapon against the undead and vampires, and that Madame Eva was said to have information on it.

Sabriel left to rest, so the remainder of us discussed our options for a bit, then headed off to bed ourselves.

The village - our second day

The Second day of our journey began normally. Our fortified encampment in an empty building held for the night, and as dawn came and I begain my morning prayers my companions began their morning rituals. All was well until as I was finishing my uncle unceremoniously served me breakfast. The mood was jocular as I cleaned trail rations from my face, and finished my supplications. When we had all reached full strength we began our journey anew.

It was about that time that I realised that some of the party were expierencing some sort of ailment. Most of my companions displayed symptoms last night, and this morning only myself and my fellow lightbringer, Ari, seemed to show the mild cough. I am still unsure as to what ailment might be causing this but I have decided to keep a closer eye on my friends, lest they be struck low by disease.

Our march through town was punctuated by the periodic sounds of battle to the northeast, and we set that as our target. Along the way we passed a boarded up house of a woman we would later hear referred to as mad Mary. Poor Mary, her daughter has left, and her grief, as well as the present environment in the village has most assuredly left her in a state. Still feeling the need to press on we checked her stores to ensure they were adequate for some days and re-sealed her house in order to keep her safe. I must remember to add her to my prayers lest her plight be forgotten, and as well her daughter whom I feel I must find so that they may expierence a reunion.

Daily I thank Pelor for the power he bestows to me, and for the first time among many I stand doubly grateful. Were it not for his benevolance we all would not be here to continue. A valiant lightbringer stood alone, and attempted to hold back a ruch of undead who had broken the barriers that the townspeople had erected to protect the square. She was hopelessly outnumbered, and though my companions and I rushed to her aid we also were too late and the hoarde too many. Had it not been for Pelor's might, and the power of the Holy Flame he has bestowed upon me, my companions and I surely would have perished.

The towns people tell us of a wise woman, to whom we must meet, and the Lightbringer wishes to have us help find her companions. Lastly the son of the Burgomeister, the one who sent the letter tells us that the hand that wrote the letter is not that of his father or of his family. This land is opening mysteries that require investigation. I wish to help find the other members of my order first, though they apparently were last seen in one of the most dangerous parts of this village. The wise woman has been suggested as the first stop, though I loathe leaving the villagers alone here, undefended for any length so short as an hour in this accursed place. There is still some argument as to which order we should proceed. A good night's rest will clear that up, and my Uncle surely knew as he left for bed early, his strength drained. I wonder how Sir Vas and my companinon Ari are able to continue their efforts for so long in a day, when my own efforts drain me in a way that only mu uncle has a chance of understanding. They seem to have an eternal font of energy, than again their skills lie in other areas, and Pelor teaches not to envy, but to respect the differences, and perhaps learn from them.

I am weary, I leave you for this, the second night in barovia.
Our previous expedition was relatively successful. Though the cost of re-outfitting ourselves laid waste to our parties reserves. Yet by the grace of Pelor, shortly after we had settled in Teslaville and met with our contact, we learned of a town member who had been missing for some time. His Wife, concerned of his whereabouts had been asking for adventurers to search for him. His last known whereabouts happened also to be where two members of the Order of Lightbringers were last investigating reports of undead activity. They too were also missing. So, by agreement my uncle and I set out in hoped of uncovering more information about my parents.

Mrs. Mourgan provided us with a description of her husband, a former adventurer who had left for Barovia with, as my uncle pointed out, the tools for fighting werewolves. Werewolves and undead in the same area. I began to have an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Our journey was uneventful. The way point at the Weary Horse inn was sullen and withdrawn, the food was good though the patrons were in no mood for any joy raising activities. Partway through the evening, a strange man barged in startling every patron. He strode through the room, quickly spotting our table, and dropping a letter from the burgomaster of Barovia. A third reason for our journey. His glory often works by threes, this was one sign I was waiting for.

An enchanted gate opened as we approached the border of Barovia, and as expected quickly swung shut. The damaged stone guardians at the gate seemed likely to spring to life despite their position. A few more hours and a simple wooden sign marked the entrance to the city of barovia. The incessant mists that had surrounded us since the first day out, seemed to deepen, hiding the distant peaks of the buildings onward. At the first opportunity we dismounted, and pressed forward on foot.

I reacted poorly, i could feel the sickly presence of undead flesh as we finally entered the main thoroughfare, yet I did not react. Ari, a fellow Lightbringer and a master of many skills, acting quickly, pointed out a creature down a narrow alley before moving into an advantageous position. By sight I identified it as a Deathlock, though like the Zombies shuffling towards us from the main street something seemed to separate them from a normal example of their kind. Calling upon the beneficent might of Pelor, i smote the undead throng with holy flame, and he protected me from their attacks. Though my companion took the brunt of their attention and through Pelor's aid she has healed from their attentions. My Uncle, Sabriel, has apparently honed his arts in summoning. His timely blasts and earthen elemental companion, Squishy, helped also to turn the tide. He nearly singlehandedly defeated the Deathlock with his magics, and maintaining his position behind the fray allowed him to focus his power. My last companion, the honorable Sir Vassago, distinguished himself several times, holding the line, keeping the horde at bay, and even dispatching the creatures through sheer force.

I fear the entire populous of this village has been taken by the curse of undeath, and though our journey will not be for naught, it will be a difficult task. The sheer numbers we encountered at the entrance drive my suspicions and already I am plagued with the idea that these creatures might be more than they seem. I must be sure, and I am weary to bring my fears to my companions until I am.

This day has brought a fresh bout of weariness and worry to my bones. No journey that is easy is worth it, and I know that Pelor would not have guided me on this path if I had not been ready or able to complete the task he has set for me. My faith still guides me to fulfill my purpose, and no place could benefit from Pelor's grace as the village of Barovia.

I part for the evening, by the grace of Pelor I ask only for another day to walk the path he has set before me, to his glory.

The Adventure Begins

The Journal of Ariathe Thenidiel Ithilwen of the Lightbringers
If found, return to the nearest Lightbringer.


The four of us arrived in Teslaville with empty pockets from our recent spending. We headed straight for Carrom, our Adventures Inc. contact, in hopes of a decent paying job. Luckily, he had one for us. He told us of a woman who's husband had gone missing, and gave directions to her home. He also mentioned something that was of more concern to myself and the cleric Pyrus; Ashlyn, a paladin of the Lightbringers and her expedition had not reported in, and no one had seen or heard from them. We must fear the worst, and be on guard for the undead. We must destroy any that we encounter. We stayed the night in Teslaville, leaving as the sun rose to reach the distraught woman's home.

The woman's name was Helene Mourgan, and she told us that her husband Jeref was a former adventurer. She last saw him heading into Barovia more than three months ago, armed with silversheen and wolfsbane. Our conjurer, Sabriel, told us that he was likely hunting werewolves if he took those two things with him. We got a description of Jeref, and Helene asked us to bring back her husband's wedding ring should we not find him alive. She gave us her stables for the night, and we left the next morning for Barovia.

An unsettling fog set in as the sun began to set. We reached an inn, called the Weary Horse. The food and drink were good for a lonely in, but the atmosphere was not a friendly one. The patrons were sullen and stared as we sat at our table. It was very quiet, and useless for finding out anything about the area. A man barged in as we warmed ourselves by the fire, banging mud from his boots and striding over to our table. He tossed down a letter which Sabriel read aloud to us. (I have pasted it here in my journal as it was given to us.)

Hail to thee of might and valor.
I, a lowly servant of the township of Barovia, send honor to thee. We plead for thy so desperately needed assistance within our community.
The love of my life, Ireena Kolyana, has been afflicted by an evil so deadly that even the good people of our town cannot protect her. She languishes from her wound. I would have saved her from this menace but I fear the only cure lies within the dreaded walls of the castle, where none may enter without risking their lives.
There is much wealth in this community. I offer all that might be had to thee and thy fellows if thou shalt but answer my desperate plea.
Come quickly for her time is at hand! All that I have shall be thine!
Kolyan Indirovich
Burgomaster of Barovia

We spent the night in a shared room, then set out in the morning. We were traveling along a road called Old Svalich Road when we came across a huge iron gate, with stone status of armed guardians with polearms. I half expected the statues to spring to life, despite their heads lying broken on the ground. I let Pyrus and the knight, Sir Vassago, take the lead and waited to make sure they were safe before following. As I expected, the gate slammed closed behind us.

After another few hours, we reached a wooden sign that informed us that we had reached Barovia. Through the dense fog, we could barely make out the shapes of buildings further along the road. As we moved close enough to see the buildings, we found the windows boarded and broken. We couldn't see anyone through the fog, but the sound of groaning echoed hollowly from further in the city. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising as I recognized the sound of the undead. Was this where the Lightbringer expedition had gone missing?

We dismounted from our horses, knowing they would only be a problem should we need to fight. After tying their reins loosely to a railing, we walked forward into the city. I took the lead and peered down an alley, spotting a skeleton who's fingers glowed with magic. Further down the road I saw zombies, and what Sabriel later identified as Carcass Eaters. I called back to the others what I had seen and we entered into battle.

We were outnumbered, but we rushed bravely into the fray. I tumbled around the enemies and attacked them from behind. We were making progress in the fight, but often needed to turn to Pyrus for healing. Sensing that the battle was not in our favour, Sabriel summoned Squishy, an elemental of earth. Squishy stomped into battle at his summoner's command and turned the tides. With the battle won, we investigated the nearby buildings and vanquished the undead that dwelt within them. We traveled further into the city, fighting as we went, and finally found a building that we could defend for the night and settled in to rest.