The adventure continues! Last time, our heroes left the town of Rukesti, crossed a perilous stream, fought some Shifters, interrogated some pacifist vampires, and made a sandwich for a strange witch! Which brought them to the outskirts of the village of Grashta…
Play time: 4 hours
- Drew the Eldritch Knight – Level 4 (absent)
- Ward the Gloom Stalker – Level 4
- Rainen the Beast Master – Level 4
- Hugo the Knowledge Cleric/Time Wizard – Level 4
- Asmund the Divine Soul Sorcerer – Level 4
Type A is for Amelia
As the team approached Grashta, they were intercepted by a young woman. She wore glasses, braids, tailored clothes, and a take-charge attitude. This was Amelia Vanator, one of the vampire hunters they were looking for.
Since the sun was about to set, Amelia brought the team back to her hideout, an old collapsing cottage in the woods. It was covered in sharp briars and the stink of a rotting pig carcass. In the cramped cellar, Amelia displayed the serial-killer-style notes she had tacked to the walls, detailing everything about the village of Grashta. Key takeaway: the people are all vampires!
Other key takeaway: Amelia has a kicksass plan! She would use pig fat to set fire to the village in the middle of the day to wipe out all 23 vampire thralls there.
The team was a little hesitant. Killing vampires was good, but what if these were nice vampires? Also, 23 sounded like a lot. Also, Sasha the direwolf couldn’t fit down in the hideout. So at least one person was going to stay exposed in the forest that night. Amelia was not pleased.
Down in the hideout, Asmund noticed a note on the wall about the “Hand of Virune”. Amelia explained this was a bit of local folklore. The angel Virune supposedly blessed the gallows at the crossroads so that no innocent person could be executed there. Legend said the angel buried their hand under the gallows. Asmund was intrigued and eager to investigate.
A Quick Tasting
After sunset, the village came alive with vampires hard at work to care for their many pigs and to maintain the village itself. Ward decided to investigate. He disguised himself as a vampire and walked into Grashta.
There he met the de facto leader Vasile, who believed Ward’s claims of coming from Frostwell after failing to kidnap a priest. Vasile offered Ward a taste of the various flavors, seasonals, and varietals of pig blood they were producing for the vampire queen Dragoslava. Ward choked on the blood, but passed it off as personal distaste.
Then Ward circled around the village and rejoined the group. These vampires aren’t just pig farmers, yall. It’s a blood winery!
During the first watch, Hugo dreamed of his stolen time pendant again. This time, the yellow lens showed two overlapping images of a masked woman meditating and a golden woman studying the floating shards of a mirror. The red lens showed a blurry view of a living mountain crawling across a desert. And the blue lens showed a black-and-white view of a little girl playing in the woods, discovering a stump full of alien flesh and eyes.
During the night, the team heard a monster roaring and flying into the village. They dashed to the edge of the woods and saw a wyvern landing on a house. Distantly, they could see and hear a rider on the wyvern giving orders. The pig herders loaded the blood barrels onto the wyvern’s saddle-harness.
Amelia was stunned. This was one of the three vampire knights! Knowing that it would be almost certain suicide, she asked the group to help her attack the village, right now, in the hopes of killing the knight. Asmund was on board! But the rest of the team wanted to survive, so they convinced Amelia to let the knight go and proceed with the fire attack tomorrow as planned.
Asmund fixated on the silouette of the knight. Was this the vampire that killed his family?
Rainen fixated on the wyvern. Could she ride this terrifying dragon?
Into the Danger Zone
At noon the next day, Amelia led the team into Grashta. Hugo and Asmund began smearing pig fat on the walls of the houses. Rainen and Drew patrolled outside the village to stop anyone from escaping. Ward and Amelia took positions on the roofs to shoot flaming arrows.
Just as it was time to attack, Asmund banged on a door and challenged the vampires to come out. A frustrated Amelia started shooting flaming arrows at the houses. Ward was distracted by Asmund, so his flaming arrows missed. The houses. He missed the houses, dear reader.
Two vampires ran out into the sunlight, burst into flames, and nearly mauled Asmund to death. Meanwhile, Rainen rode her dire wolf into the village. She used a lantern and a makeshift torch to ignite several houses. Ward started shooting flaming arrows and hitting things. Hugo froze time to save Asmund.
And Drew heroically slaughtered countless vampires, unseen, just off stage.
During the chaos, several vampires fled from burning houses to non-burning houses. Several others tried to flee the village entirely. Ward fell off his perch, picked himself up, and started shooting the fleeing vamps. Asmund incinerated one of them right in front of Rainen, covering her in glowing cinders of vampire ash.
One vampire ran from a burning house and dove down the village well. But as he tried to climb back out, Hugo illuminated him and Asmund incinerated him.
Soon, all the houses were burning and collapsing. Sunlight and common fire reduced the vampires to ashes, one by one. By the end of the battle, Grashta had been reduced to a flaming pyre. And the only sound above the roaring inferno were the squealing pigs.
Amelia triumphantly led the team out of Grashta. There was a brief debate about what to do next. Tell Armand about Grashta? Look for Rosette and Yakov?
Eventually they decided to stay together. They would head (through the crossroads) to the ruins of the village Brishta to look for Rosette. Amelia suspected that her husband Yakov was at the ruins of Castle Dalca looking for kickass magical weapons.
And that’s where we ended!
This was another great session full of mishaps, philosophical debates, intense planning, magical mysteries, and wild battles. The team really got invested in the dilemmas about these vampires. Are they really evil? How can we know for sure? Are we putting innocents in danger? All great questions!
The battle was very dynamic and fun. Hopefully the team appreciated the value of a good plan. Because they definitely could not have straight-up fought 23 vampire thralls. But using sunlight and fire was super effective (thanks Amelia!). My only regret is that after the first round, I had the vampires try to flee instead of fight. Maybe a couple more of them should have thrown their lives away trying to kill the party?
Next time: the crossroads and Brishta!