The adventure continues! Last time, our heroes climbed up into Castle Torescu, destroyed the Court of the Damned, and defeated the vampire knight Adrian in the snowy courtyard, and now they are surrounded and outnumbered…
Play time: 4 hours
- Asmund the Divine Soul Sorcerer (7)
- Drew the Eldritch Knight (7)
- Hugo the Time Wizard (6), Cleric (1)
- Lobelia the Vampire
- Rainen the Beast Master Ranger (5), Druid (2)
- Ward the Gloom Stalker Ranger (6), Rogue (1)
A Short Rest
When last we left our heroes, they had just (barely) defeated the vampire knight Adrian and retreated into a small turret to hide and heal. Dragodai pointed out that they left a mess out in the courtyard, including footprints in the snow, and it was only a matter of minutes before the vampire soldiers found them. The team cast Tiny Hut upstairs on a bed and covered the magic dome in silk pajamas, hoping to get a Short Rest before they were found.
Minutes passed. Soldiers shouted in the courtyard, and entered the turret, and entered the bedroom! But they left.
And then they returned with a small wizened vampire wearing an iron crown over his eyes. This mage dispelled the Tiny Hut, revealing the party. Dragodai asked how much time they needed to rest. Eight minutes! He would buy them those minutes.
The party sat and listened as Dragodai, in wolf form, ran outside with his magic sword and battled the vampire soldiers alone. By the time the Rest was complete, it was silent outside.
Through the Looking Glass
The party emerged to find the courtyard littered with dead vampire ashes. They decided to circle around the castle keep to the south and glanced in the gray tower. Silent and empty. Inside they found evidence of a vampire barracks. On the top floor they found Adrian’s bedroom and magic mirror.
Hugo and Ward stepped through the mirror and found themselves in the Naduum Forge back down in the Ruby City. They met three dwarves, and three mechanical animals. Lars, Godfrey, and Zuzka were hard at work for Adrian and the Queen. Hugo and Ward bartered for the newly finished armor for the queen, giving up two magic weapons for it.
Back in the gray tower, they gave the spiky, curvaceous (and cursed) armor to Drew.
Outside, it was still silent. They headed toward the black tower and passed a large black iron hatch in the south wall. It was trapped, so they decided to move on.
Around the corner, they found the body of Dragodai torn in half beside the corpse of the giant man Ambrose. The dhampir’s magic sword stood in the giant’s eye. Drew took the sword.
Inside the queen’s tower, they passed a guard room and found a chamber filled with sharp silvery webbing. Four phase spiders descended from the ceiling, but the party ran through to conserve their resources.
Upstairs they found a cheery room full of arts and crafts projects. From a shelf, a porcelain doll began to giggle and taunt them as Hugo took a candle that smelled like cookies. The doll proved to be the trapped soul of Roxana Vanator, wife of Armand the vampire hunter! Asmund sacrificed one of his holy fingers to free her soul.
At the top of the tower, they found a luxurious bedroom. A dozen weeping priests of Virune lay on the floor. The iron-crowned mage Father Tyran sat on a gleaming throne. And the vampire queen Dragoslava Torescu lay on the bed, playing with her bristling steel whip.
The queen asked the party to leave, several times. She also revealed her master plan was to entice the angel Virune to come save these priests, at which time she would drink the blood of the angel to become divine!
And so, the party put on their game faces, and attacked! The queen used blood magic to force the priests to form a human shield wall, and she summoned her dread wyvern outside to flood the room with necrotic fumes, and she wielded her deadly whip. But the party bulldozed through the priests, tore Father Tyran to pieces, and then slaughtered Queen Dragoslava.
As she died, Lobelia lost her vampiric powers and fell off the ceiling. She was human! Everyone was human! The curse was lifted! The land was saved!
We then went around the table and described what happened in the days and weeks that followed. Most of the ex-vampires returned north to rebuild their homes, but some stayed in the castle to make a new life.
The party discovered the Black Road from Castle Torescu through the mountains back to the south lands. In that long dark tunnel, they encountered a miserable one-eyed seeker. They took the creature back to Torescu, where Asmund used the last of his holy fingers to restore this cursed person, revealing…Hugo’s mother! But Hugo was strangely unmoved by her restoration.
- Lobelia, inspired by her time with the party, resolved to begin training as a real adventurer.
- Asmund, his quest for revenge complete, chose to stay in the north and protect the peoples there.
- Hugo gave up any interest in returning home, wanting to continue his mad search for arcane power.
- Drew returned home to get revenge on the man who got him arrested, but then returned to Vulgoth to establish a Justice Guild for heroes.
- Ward returned home to establish a Ranger Guild, and to rekindle the worship of the angel Kasimah.
- Rainen returned home to see her family, and then vanished into the forest to live in the wilds, protecting her ever-growing family of wolves.
And that’s where we ended.
This was a pretty good session. We managed to explore and discover new places, and meet a bunch of new NPCs, as well as finish the final battle and wrap up with our epilogues.
I was a bit disappointed in myself for how I ran the final battle. I thought that the queen + tyran + priests + wyvern would be enough, but it absolutely wasn’t! At the very least, I should have included some vampire soldiers, if not the last vampire knight Nicoletta, and maybe even Doctor Godwin, all crammed together. But maybe that would have been bad too, perhaps too bloated and forced, making for a long slog of a battle. It’s hard to say.
At any rate, the campaign is complete, we had a great time, and everyone was very happy. We spent an hour just talking about all the little things that happened (and didn’t happen) and I revealed a few secrets about what they didn’t find or do.
We will spend the next couple of weeks discussing ideas for the next campaign, which will be a test-bed for various ways to tweak the game. More on that later!