This is a direct continuation of the previous thread: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5299975/Go there for a recap of the entire adventure.--You are Aranuel Caniella; 18-year-old human girl, Cleric of Kossuth, and novice swordsman! Your epic quest to find your missing sister has taken you to the Abbey of Saint Markovia, a cursed monastery in the forgotten land of Barovia, a valley choked by fog that traps unlucky souls within the valley's borders.According to the vampire lord Strahd von Zarovich, Joannus should be hiding here within the walls of this monastery. But the village folk believe the place to be cursed, and they abandoned it centuries ago out of fear.A few generations back, a mysterious clergyman arrived and demanded to re-open the Abbey for his own purposes. To this day, he is only known as "The Abbot", and he is shrouded in fearmongering and rumors - some even fear that he's Strahd in disguise.Upon arriving in the cursed Abbey, you were greeted not by ghosts or spirits, not by empty halls, but instead by beastly creatures - mongrelfolk, insane amalgamations only vaguely resemble humans. They seemed to have lost their minds, with the sanest among them acting as servants of the Abbey. You discovered that these creatures were a result of grotesque experimentation by the Abbot on an unfortunate Krezk family known as the Belviews.After finding the Abbot, meeting his flesh bride Vasilka, and experiencing the lunacy of this cursed place firsthand, you finally snapped and killed an abomination that tried to attack you in the North Wing of the abbey. You succeeded at gaining the loyalty of the twisted mongrel creatures trapped here at the last minute, but there is no more hiding your loyalties from the one with true power up here in the Abbey. The Abbot, in his fury, has just confronted you.New players are welcome and encouraged to participate. You aren't expected to have any preexisting knowledge of the setting to follow the narrative. To help new players, these threads usually contain recaps of Aranuel's entire adventure - I have decided not to include a recap the this time, since it makes more sense for this thread to directly continue #3, which didn't go on long enough before archiving. If you are new, you are encourged to read the recap at the top of Barovian Legends #3 if they don't want to read the entire quest. There are many events that bring the plot into context.Character/Quest InfoStats, Spells, Inventory, Character (updated in real time): https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgWInfo / FAQ: https://pastebin.com/sTurBdHZArchive of Previous Threadshttps://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5195343/ (Barovian Legends #1)https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5242633/ (Barovian Legends #2: The Curse of Strahd)https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5299975/ (Barovian Legends #3: Fortunes of Ravenloft)
Current StatusYou are a 5th level Life Domain Cleric. You have 29/46 HP, and enough magic to cast 4/4 first-level, 1/3 second-level, and 0/2 third-level spells. You are currently concentrating on Flaming Sphere (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW) which has 8 turns remaining. Your Armor Class is 12, and you don't have any active conditions. You can track this information as it changes under "Character/Quest Info" below....You hear shouting from outside, and footsteps getting closer. It must be The Abbot."Give it here," you urge the creature. "Quickly."The mongrel cowers away, but you can sense its fear - these creatures fear you after seeing you destroy the grotesque flesh golem that was guarding them. You have a moment to turn that fear to your advantage.As soon as you are close enough, you snatch the idol from the creature's hands. The heavy statuette depicts a saintly-looking woman in robes. On the robes are a symbol of the sun. An idol of the Morninglord, or one of his devotees.Used Light cantrip. (https://5e.tools/spells.html#light_phb)You hold the idol high so the starving mongrel creatures can see it. With a simple word, the statue glows with a brilliant yellow-orange, bathing the chamber in a convincing imitation of sunlight, causing the mongrelfolk to gasp.Your plan is simple. There is no way the creatures in this room enjoy being kept here - they're obviously kept in line by fear - but they are clearly obsessed with the holy stature of this cursed monastery, and they wouldn't trust just anybody. In their eyes, starved and kept in darkness, after you killed the monster that holds them in these cells, your faith rivals that of the Abbot."Don't eat me," you shout. "I'm going to let you out, but the Abbot is coming! As long as I stay alive, you are protected by divine guidance! Your deeds have been recognized by your God!"After a moment of silence, you add, "Also, you are entitled to the food in the kitchen!" An animalistic hollering erupts, deafening, like screeching monkeys. You think they got the message. Just in that moment, the door swings open, and the Abbot enters - alone. His eyes are ablaze with fury, and he clutches a shortsword in one of his hands. Even though he appears no more than a man in brown robes, his presence is like a storm, and the room falls silent.(cont.)
Despite the rage on the Abbot's face, his voice comes out steady, his words enunciated like sharpened sword. "You are a child of Asmodeus. I knew from the moment I saw you that you were a patron of evil, impure and unfit to live in this realm, but it was my duty to allow you a chance. I did not think you would stoop to defiling the site of my miracles.""You don't understand," you say. "I was attacked. The... horrible thing in here. It almost killed me. And the creatures being kept here - they're starving."The Abbot looks down at the pile of flesh that was once the golem. Your pulse increases; you know he's not going to like what you did to his pet."You are a disappointment, child," he says. "But it is your nature - I am the one at fault for trusting you. You being related to the other human who brought impurity to the Abbey, I should have acted on my initial instinct." He looks back up at you and meets your eyes. You sense... pity?"I won't bother you any more," you say. "Let me leave and I will never return to the Abbey. This is the only time I will ask.""This will be better if you hold still," he says, moving toward you now. "It is too late to fix your impurity, but I can still enact my divine duty to repent for my mistake."Your Flaming Sphere floats behind you. You can feel its heat. You are ready to employ it if you need to, and your longsword is at arm's reach, too.>Slam the Flaming Sphere at the Abbot. Choose another action to perform at the same time. (Initiate combat)>Try to negotiate with the Abbot. (Persuasion, Intimidation, or Deception)>Free the Mongrelfolk and fight (Initiate combat)>Free the Mongrelfolk and flee. (Dexterity, DC 20)>Surrender.>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)>Other (specify)
>>5343557> >Try to negotiate with the Abbot. (Persuasion, Intimidation, or Deception)Argue with him. He’s creating monsters from corpses. These are as far from miracles as you can possibly get. Demand to know his reasoning.
>>5343557>>Slam the Flaming Sphere at the Abbot. Choose another action to perform at the same time. (Initiate combat)Cast Scorching Ray
>>5343557>use an item>Blanket>Nothing can hurt you while you're under your security blanket.
>>5343655Supporting. Use fire if he refuses to repent.
>>5343821+1. The ultimate protection.
The following two suggestions are tied with 2 votes each:>Argue with him. He’s creating monsters from corpses. These are as far from miracles as you can possibly get. Demand to know his reasoning. (Persuasion)>Use an item: Blanket. Nothing can hurt you when you're under your security blanket.If the tie isn't broken within the next few hours, I will be forced to decide with a coin flip.
>>5344403I mean, I guess if I have to.>Use an item: Blanket. Nothing can hurt you when you're under your security blanket.
>>5344432Oh Kossuth why?
You know you are in danger. The mongrelfolk watch silently, and the pressure to maintain your holy facade makes you sweat. Meanwhile, the Abbot is approaching, weapon-in-hand - it's clear he is deluded, and your magic does not intimidate him.There's more than meets the eye about him, and he is now showing his hand. A blue-white glow diffuses throughout the room. The Abbot's skin changes color, his eyes become sharper, and his hair turns brighter. He is becoming something transcendent, inhuman - incomprehensible, even! You can't even look at him with the radiant light emitted by his transformation.Memories rush back of the beginnings of your travels across the wildernesses of Faerûn on the hunt for your sister Joannus. Countless moments where you were surrounded by unexpected dangers, and you failed the means to defend yourself from them; in those moments, you learned to emulate your sister's bravado, and adopt an affectation, a charade of the adventuring spirit that you so vividly remember her carrying. You know she's alive, and the only way you were ever going to prove that was to face danger the way she did, to be like her. But you aren't like her, and you never will be. You are just a child. The lie crumbles under enough pressure.Hyperventilating now, you turn your eyes away from the Abbot, whose form appears to be some kind of celestial avatar. Wings have sprouted out from his back, and his blade is now thrumming with boundless divine energy.If you're going to die here, it should be in relative comfort... or maybe, just maybe, you can protect yourself from harm still. Not thinking, you are overcome with the urge to cover yourself in the security of the wool blanket you use for camping. Yes! Nothing will hurt you under the security blanket. It is the ultimate protection.(cont.)
"Good, submit to your fate," the Abbot says. "Even the most sinful can still be taught the value of humility. It is too late for you to repent, but it is admirable that in your last moments, you understand that your sin must be cleansed." His voice has a deep reverb, almost like he's speaking from the middle of a chapel. You can barely even notice the slight dissonance that slants the musicality of his voice, like an instrument that's just a little bit out of tune.You can hear him approaching but you can't see him - all you see is your blanket. The blanket is your last hope. While you hide, Joannus will save you.The Abbot's feet reach your side, and you hear his sword plunging down through the air...(cont.)
Rolled 15, 10 = 25 (2d20)Rolled>The Abbot vs. You - Celestial Attack, Advantage (+8)(cont.)
Combat Resolution - EnemyYou take 14 piercing damage and 36 radiant damage as his sword pierces into your body, cowering under the blanket. You are overcome with searing pain that seems to penetrate your soul. Then, everything goes black.This damage brings you from 29/46 HP down to 0/46 HP, with a surplus of 21 damage. You don't incur instant death, but you fall into unconsciousness, and your life is now slipping away.You are not aware of what's happening around you during this time.(cont.)
hooray for meme options leading directly into death
Instability - Death Saving ThrowsYou are now unstable. To continue living and avoid slipping into permanent character death, you must be stabilizedSince there is no friendly NPC around to attempt to stabilize you, the only way to theoretically survive this encounter is to succeed at 3 Death Saving Throws before failing at 3. If you are successful, Aranuel will stabilize - she will remain unconscious, but will no longer be at risk of succumbing to her wounds. If you fail, Aranuel will die.To perform a Death Saving Throw, roll a d20. Do not add any modifiers. (Only 1 roll per poster.)If the roll is below 10 (1-9), the Death Saving Throw is a failure. If the roll is 10 or higher (10-20), it's a success.Continue rolling Death Saving Throws until there are either 3 successes or 3 failures.In both cases, the condition ends, and leads to either stabilization, or death.
Rolled 16 (1d20)>>5344666okay satan
Forgot to factor in, the Statuette of Saint Markovia that Aranuel picked up at the end of the previous thread applies +1 to Saving Throws, and Death Saving Throws are a type of saving throw. So, despite having no ability modifiers, you can add +1 to your rolls.
hey anon you can’t just delete your posts like that come on man
>>5344686I saw it. It was an 8+1 (9). Roller was ID OVS3w4gh. It counts as a failure, so we are at 1 success and 1 failure.
>>5344686Can't blame for not wanting trolls and morons to kill a good quest.
>>5344689*can't blame me
>>5344689>>5344691I can. It’s not cool. The previous choice was obviously a troll but it’s the fault of the readers for not counteracting it.
If anon cheats in the forest and no one is around to hear it, it doesn't make a sound.Fortunately it's easy to catch anons who delete their rolls.Don't bicker, just roll. Have faith in Kossuth.
>>5344665I'm the one who wrote that stupid meme vote and I'm here from /qtg/. I honestly expected the qm to come to his senses, realize how retarded it is to allow one guy to end his quest just like that and veto it. I'm sorry anons, this is not what I wanted.
>>5344700play dumb games, win stupid prizeslol
Your mistake (and the mistake of the 2 anons who voted for your suggestion) was to assume my retardation has limits.
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>5344666
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>5344666
>>5344910That's the last roll. Aranuel is dead.The quest isn't over, however.The story must continue. Expect a new update tomorrow.
thanks meme posters I preferred it when you made the stupid murder posts instead of actual retard postshopefully qm salvages this into something playable
>>5344965Blame the qm for allowing random shitposting retards to hijack his quest.
A very long time passes. Your worries should be melting away - after all, you are dead - but you still feel concerned. Was your entire journey a waste? Were you destined to come all this way for your sister, only to die like this, at the hands of... what was the Abbot really, anyway? Some kind of celestial, like a fallen angel? Or was that an illusion? He was immensely powerful, too powerful for somebody in an Abbey in the corner of Barovia.You shake your head. In retrospect, hiding under the blanket was stupid. You had convinced the mongrel creatures to fight alongside you, the stage was set for your heroism, but in the critical moment, you cracked under the pressure and reverted to a childish fear. But oh well. It seems like such a silly problem from where you are now. Best not to dwell on it.Your sister would probably find this whole ordeal funny. You came all this way, only to die from hiding under a blanket? She knew how to make light of these kinds of things, how to make even the most terrible concerns seem silly in hindsight. That's how she would placate you at night when you were afraid of spirits or monsters coming for you - she'd tell wild stories, and eventually the whole thing would seem so silly that your fear would turn into amusement before you even noticed.Where is she? Is she okay? It's a stubborn fear that's sticking with you even now, after death....Something's wrong. You shouldn't be here. All that's around you is a gray nothingness.What about the Elemental Plane of Fire? What about your devotion? Has Kossuth rejected you? Oh, Lord, you hope not!Your mind races through the possibilities. Was it because you impersonated a devotee of Lathander? Have you abandoned your sister in death, breaking your vow to the Lord of Flames?You wish you could ask, but it's hard to think, as your thoughts are clouded, numbed by this flameless fog that mutes your surroundings and threatens to overwhelm you.You listen and attune yourself, and you think you can feel the presence of others here. Thousands trapped in this strange purgatory.You want to pray, but you can tell you won't be heard here, so you just scream silently into the vacuum.(cont.)
A sudden jolt of harrowing pain tears through your essence as you are violently yanked from the gray void and pulled through infinity. You catch a fleeting glimpse of clusters of colors - what is happening you have no clue. Brilliant displays of light zoom past you, swirling auras of magic, celestial, infernal! And then--You're suddenly hungry for air. Your head throbs, your body feels heavy, and the world is spinning. You focus your vision and look up - stars. Are you in the Astral Plane?Tattered scraps of paper glow bright with holy magic. A woman stands above you, dressed in familiar colorful robes. You feel wet grass below you.You try to sit up, but your body won't let you.Your mind is racing. What do you do? Suggestions:>Ask, "Where the hells am I? Who are you?">Say, "The blanket didn't work.">Ask different questions. (specify)>Pretend you haven't woken up yet and see what happens. (Deception, DC 12)>Conspicuously examine your surroundings. (Perception, DC 16)>Cast a cantrip instinctively at the woman. (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)>Oh no, you're not dealing with this. Fall back into unconsciousness and wait until you feel better.>Do something else that doesn't involve strenuous physical activity (specify)
>>5345668>Cast a cantrip instinctively at the woman. (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)Light. Get a better look at her.>Ask, "Where the hells am I? Who are you?"
>>5345668>Say, "The blanket didn't work."
>>5345668>Conspicuously examine your surroundings. (Perception, DC 16)>>5345683+1
>>5345668>Cast a cantrip instinctively at the woman. (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)Light.>Conspicuously examine your surroundings. (Perception, DC 16)
>>5345681>>5345743>>5345771>>5345796You scramble to come to your senses. You are wrought with pain and sickness, and you're not sure you're alive, but something tells you you are.You are suffering from Exhaustion Level 5, which has the following penalties:1. You have disadvantage on all ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws.2. Your speed is reduced to 0.3. Your hit point maximum is halved.Exhaustion level is reduced by 1 every time you have a long rest, until it reaches level 0 again.You have 1/23 HP, and enough magic for 4 first-level, 1 second-level, and 0 third-level spells.Instinctively, you find yourself casting your Light cantrip on the nearest object you see. Your surroundings are illuminated, and so is the woman's face. You struggle to focus your eyes, but you think you manage to make out her demeanor; she's looking down at you with skepticism. She is a tall woman, with raven black hair and piercing brown eyes, and the same darker hue to her skin as the Vistani you met by the lake that one time with Ireena. She's wearing a brown jacket, along with what looks like colorful garments underneath.Is she friend or foe? Oh Kossuth, she looks... heavily armed. A sword hangs from her waist in a scabboard, and your light reveals the glint of two axes strapped under her coat, next to what appears to be a crossbow. You try to make inventory of what you have at your disposal, but you quickly realize you have no idea where your belongings are, and you're too drained to move. Where even are you?You don't want to feel so vulnerable. Before the woman can speak to you, you lift your head just enough to inspect the cold forest and your immediate surroundings, looking for anything - other people, tents, structures, a road - that might get you on the same page as your new friend.Wisdom (Perception) Check - DisadvantageRoll 2d20, discard the higher roll, then add Aranuel's Wisdom modifier (+3) to perform a check with Wisdom (Perception) with Disadvantage.(Best out of 3.)
Rolled 10, 19 = 29 (2d20)>>5345837I’m posting from a public space so my ID will be different
Rolled 15, 3 = 18 (2d20)>>5345837
Rolled 14, 9 = 23 (2d20)>>5345837
ResultPerception: 13--You are in the middle of the woods. There does seem to be a road a little ways down, but you're a good 40 feet or so off the trail. Your heart sinks - you are indeed still in Barovia. There are no tents or buildings here though. In fact, there is no sign of anyone else at all - does this woman have you here alone? Your impression was that Vistani weren't known to do things alone, so that would be strange, but you can't hear anybody either.There's a hose-drawn wagon parked by the road, about 30 feet away. Did she use that to carry your... body here?You were dead, weren't you? It's just hitting you again. How are you alive? And just as importantly, how long have you been gone?"I don't blame you for not trusting me," the woman says, in a thick accent. "To be honest, I don't trust you either. I saw what you did to that guard golem, and your stunt cost me something very important: my chance to destroy Strahd."You feel weak. It might be wise to choose your words wisely, with your breath so limited. (Select up to 5 things to say.)>"So why am I here?">"You're a Vistana... where is the rest of your camp?">"What is your name?">"Are my injuries severe?">"Why are we in the middle of the woods?" (Persuasion, DC 8)>"I wasn't up there looking for you." (Persuasion, DC 12)>"How did any of that have to do with destroying Strahd?">"Where exactly in the valley are we, on the map?">"Golem? Abbey? I have no idea what you are talking about." (Deception, DC 16)>"I may not trust you, but Strahd is my enemy, too." (Persuasion or Deception, DC 8)>"Why were you hiding in the Abbey?" (Persuasion, DC 12)>"Was anybody else up there in the Abbey with you?">"What did the Abbot transform into when he killed me?">"If we are alone, why did you bring so many weapons">"How did you get me out of the Abbey?">"What happened to the imprisoned mongrel creatures in that wing - like the Belviews?">Pick other things to say (specify)
Alternatively, if you wish, it's possible now for you to:>Cast a spell (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>>5345905>"I may not trust you, but Strahd is my enemy, too." (Persuasion or Deception, DC 8)Persuasion. We were only using him to find our sister.>"What is your name?">"What did the Abbot transform into when he killed me?">"How did you get me out of the Abbey?">"Was anybody else up there in the Abbey with you?"
>>5345905>"Golem? Abbey? I have no idea what you are talking about." (Deception, DC 16)>"Why were you hiding in the Abbey?" (Persuasion, DC 12)>"I wasn't up there looking for you." (Persuasion, DC 12)>"What is your name?">"So why am I here?"
>>5345905>"What is your name?">"I wasn't up there looking for you." (Persuasion, DC 12)>"Why were you hiding in the Abbey?" (Persuasion, DC 12)>"Was anybody else up there in the Abbey with you?">"How did you get me out of the Abbey?"
Vote status of options so far:>"What is your name?" x3>"How did you get me out of the Abbey?" x2>"Was anybody else up there in the Abbey with you?" x2>"Why were you hiding in the Abbey?" (Persuasion, DC 12) x2>"I wasn't up there looking for you." (Persuasion, DC 12) x2>I may not trust you, but Strahd is my enemy, too." (Persuasion or Deception, DC 8) x1>"What did the Abbot transform into when he killed me?" x1>"Golem? Abbey? I have no idea what you are talking about." (Deception, DC 16) x1>"So why am I here?" x1(Voting is still open)
>>5345905>"Why are we in the middle of the woods?">"What happened to the imprisoned mongrel creatures in that wing - like the Belviews?">"I may not trust you, but Strahd is my enemy, too."
>>5345905>"So why am I here?">"Are my injuries severe?"To round out my five.
How you managed to lose her trust without even knowing her, you're not sure. Why you're here is an even bigger mystery, and one that you need to get to the bottom of before you form any conclusions about your condition.Your head is spinning, but you have some energy to converse with the Vistana. Maybe you can make sense of how you got here, and why you were saved.>"What is your name?" x3She smiles, amused. "I am Ezmerelda d'Avenir. Hunter of twisted monsters and evil things. I would like to hear your name too, if that's fine with you.""Aranuel... Cleric of... Kosuth." you just barely manage to groan the words. With a breath, you continue...>"How did you get me out of the Abbey?" x2"Weren't many options," she admits. "But it wasn't something I would've liked to break my cover for. It wasn't me who insisted on dragging your corpse down the side of the mountain. Somebody else decided on saving you.""You... fought me out? Or...""We had help from the mongrel prisoners," she says. "You got them all riled up and killed their guardian. The distraction was exactly what we needed.">"Was anybody else up there in the Abbey with you?" x2"Who was the one who insisted on saving me?" you ask, hopeful.She pauses, and seems to analyze you for a moment before continuing. "I have no regrets for helping her," she says, "But I don't think her actions were rational."She's being cagey. "I was up there for a reason too," you say. "I can explain everything... just, please, tell me more.""This was three days ago. We trying to lay low. At least, that's what I was doing up there. When you caused that big stir, we investigated the damage, and found your corpse. She seemed to find you familiar.""F-familiar?"Ezmerelda nods. "She insisted on saving you, but couldn't even explain why. She just said it was a feeling. It was like she was motivated by unnatural forces. Any attempt to talk her out of it was futile."Woman in the Abbey found you familiar? Three days ago?! This is too much information to process."It took us a couple days to get our hands on the right scroll," she says. "We paid for it with goods from the Abbey. A life's fortune. It's thanks to that that you are here. I am relieved it worked... I've never seen someone more dead."You still have too many questions you can hope to ask. The best you can do right now is get a handle on who this woman is, and to gain her trust - it's time to explain your side of the story. Persuading this Vistana could be vital to seeing your sister again, if the woman she's talking about is who you assume it is.>"Why were you hiding in the Abbey?" (Persuasion, DC 12) x2>"I wasn't up there looking for you." (Persuasion, DC 12) x2Charisma (Persuasion) Check - DisadvantageRoll 2d20, discard the higher roll, then add Aranuel's Proficiency bonus (+3) to perform a check with Charisma (Persuasion) with Disadvantage.(Best out of 3.)
Rolled 15, 7 = 22 (2d20)>>5346879
Rolled 1, 7 = 8 (2d20)>>5346879
Rolled 70 + 3 (1d120 + 3)>>5346879
Rolled 15, 15 + 3 = 33 (2d20 + 3)>>5346879>>5347256
ResultPersuade Ezmerelda to trust you: 18 (success)--"I am eternally grateful that you saved me," you say. "It's a shame we couldn't have met under better circumstances.""Likewise," she replies. "The current circumstances of this talk are rather drab... I want you to know, your corpse was kept on a bed these past few days. I took you out here to wake you up.""Why?" you ask."Oh, come on. I saw what you did to that abomination. Do you think I am naive? You might have been threatening, and I don't put my friends in danger."If you had energy, you would laugh that ridiculous remark. "I can't even stand up," you say, your voice wavering. "How could I even be threatening?""You cast that light spell as soon as you opened your eyes," she says, stern. "Is it crazy for me to assume you could incinerate both of us now with just a gesture?"Actually, it's not - you feel fully capable of calling upon Kossuth's divine power in your current state, despite physical ailments. Sure, you don't have enough energy left to use the same explosive spell you used on the Abbot's flesh golem, but she doesn't know that. You groan in response.>"Why were you hiding in the Abbey?""I guess I'm lucky you were there here all," you say. "What exactly were you and your companion doing up there?"Ezmerelda gives you a calculating glance, as if wondering whether she can trust you - but her expression softens. You can tell she doesn't detect anything threatening about you in this moment. You haven't attacked her yet, after all. You may prove to be the vital ally you presume she is hoping for; why else would she be the one to wake you up?"I was... hoping to lure Strahd in," Ezmerelda says, addressing your question. "I first went there by mistake, looking for refuge... but then I found out the Abbot was creating a bride for Strahd. I begun hiding there, in the barrack on the top floor, hoping to catch him by surprise when he inevitably came to see it."That makes sense, but what about her companion? The one who wanted to save you? "You said you were with someone," you say, weakly."She arrived later," Ezmerelda says. "I met her up there. She had sought the Abbot for help, but I realized shortly after arriving that he was irreparably insane.""So you helped her instead?""Mhm," she says, with a nod."And... Strahd... why do you want him dead?" you ask, hoping for a genuine measure of her morals."Well, because he is evil. Evil that feeds on the innocent is the worst of all evils; it must be destroyed.""You're right," you say. "But is that all?"She pauses, then looks away. "Well... I concede, that's not the whole story."You nod in understanding. Even with you, it's never just about the greater good.She continues...(cont.)
"When I heard my old master was in Barovia to kill the vampire," Ezmerelda says, "I came here myself looking for him. Him and I - that is, my master and I - didn't part on the best terms, you see, and I was trying to reunite with him. He proved very difficult to track down. But Strahd didn't... that would surely be a reunion gift for my old teacher, don't you think?"You manage to say "yes", but the more you talk, the harder your head throbs. You need to get to the point.>"I wasn't up there looking for you.""I wasn't up there looking for you," you say. "I was looking for... for, well, someone else.""Ah," Ezmerelda says. "That simplifies things a lot. The Abbey isn't a popular travel destination - I knew you were there for a reason, and you didn't seem to be in need of help, and I wasn't sure if you had come there after me.""No," you admit. "Actually, I was trying to find my sister."Ezmerelda raises an eyebrow."She is the reason I came to Barovia," you continue."That's something we have in common, then?""Well, kind of," you say."No, definitely. My old master is like a father to me. I think I can understand."You nod. You are struggling to stay awake, but you feel like you've used your consciousness wisely - if you were once being interrogated by this woman, you feel like now you're closer to making a friend of her instead."Listen," you whisper. "I think... the woman you met in the Abbey might be my sister."Ezmerelda looks like she's going to say something, but she stops herself and looks at you closer. "I don't know," she says. "She couldn't explain how she recognized you. I insisted on taking you out here to wake you up, but she's been almost obsessed with you."You know better than to get your hopes up, but even this thought makes your heart race. "It's been... a long time since I saw her," you say. Although it is weird that she would be so unsure of your relation to her. "If she is my sister, what if she just doesn't recognize me?""How long has it been?" Ezmerelda asks."About ten years," you reply.She lets that process for a moment. After thinking about it, a determined air seems to fall over her, and she nods. "I'll take you back to camp - if there's a possibility she is your sister, no matter how small, we need to reunite you immediately."What do you do?>Your work here is finished. You are happy and relieved. Thank her with all the energy you have left, then fall back into unconsciousness and let yourself rest and recover. (Long Rest)>You don't trust Ezmerelda yet, despite her talk - fight to stay awake during the trip, even though you are too injured to move. (Constitution, DC 15)>If choosing the above option, you may specify more questions to ask Ezmerelda on the way back. You may also cast spells. (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)>Other (specify)
>>5350233>Your work here is finished. You are happy and relieved. Thank her with all the energy you have left, then fall back into unconsciousness and let yourself rest and recover. (Long Rest)go the fuck to sleep
>>5350233>You don't trust Ezmerelda yet, despite her talk - fight to stay awake during the trip, even though you are too injured to move. (Constitution, DC 15)>"You're a Vistana... where is the rest of your camp?">"Are my injuries severe?">"Where exactly in the valley are we, on the map?">"What did the Abbot transform into when he killed me?">"What happened to the imprisoned mongrel creatures in that wing - like the Belviews?"
>>5350233>>Your work here is finished. You are happy and relieved. Thank her with all the energy you have left, then fall back into unconsciousness and let yourself rest and recover. (Long Rest)
Hello, I've moved locations so I am using the trip I set up briefly at the end of the last thread. New update coming today before I go to bed.
>>5350341>>5350542>Your work here is finished. You are happy and relieved. Thank her with all the energy you have left, then fall back into unconsciousness and let yourself rest and recover. (Long Rest)You barely manage to whisper a "thank you". [b]You close your eyes and the dismal Barovian woods fade into nothingness.[/b]...You are standing at the Sea Ward docks in the city of Waterdeep, looking over the ships as they come and go from the Sea of Swords. You had known that the ocean was big, but you had no idea it was [i]this[/i] big. You can't even see the end of it.You came here to Waterdeep with your family - a five day trip - because your dad had a business endeavour or some such. However, your sister Joannus did not travel with you. She was already in Waterdeep when you got here.Joannus is standing next to you now, polishing an iron helmet. She doesn't seem too interested by the sea. She is only a teenager, yet she towers over you.You decide to ask the question that's been on your mind for a while. "I miss you. Are you coming home soon?"She smiles, though it may be from amusement; you hope she's not laughing at you. It took a lot of courage to ask that!"Soon," she says. "I've still got that work to attend to, remember?"She called it "mercenary work" but she explained that that isn't really what it is - it's just the technicality of the title. It's more dangerous than it sounds. "I can't believe you're going out there," you say. "What if the boat sinks?""Mikel is a great captain," she says. "His crew's been sailing with him for... well, decades. If they're still here, one trip won't kill me.""Mom said you're stupid for leaving for so often," you say. "She hates you.""Oh?" she says. "What do [i]you[/i] think?""I couldn't go on adventures like this," you say. "I'm not brave enough to leave home, and I won't ever put myself in danger. It isn't worth it."Behind you, you can see your mother is coming - she's done with the magistrate. Guess Aranuel will want to go back to the Yawning Portal now.Aranuel chuckles. "It's not like you, that's for sure," she says. "But at least you make Mom happy. And hey... it's really nice to see you, Aranuel.""Come home soon," you say, smiling in return.You look up to her. It's true that you could never live her life, and you wouldn't want to; but the thought of it fills you with awe....[b]Long Rest[/b]You rest for 8 hours. You regain all expended spell slots, half of all expended hit dice, and lose 1 level of Exhaustion.You dropped from Exhastion Level 5 to Exhaustion Level 4, so you lose the following penalties:- You are no longer immobile, but you still suffer from half speed. (15 ft/turn instead of 30ft/turn)You return to max HP. Your total HP is now 26*/46. [i](*HP maximum is halved due to Exhaustion Level 4.)[/i] [b]You gained 1,000 XP, putting your total XP at 11,725.[/b][b](2,275 XP remaining until 6th level.)[/b](cont.)
You begin to come to your senses. A familiar ache runs through your body.You feel a blanket below you. You hear wind outside. Where are you?Oh, right. Pain and demoralizing weather patterns - you are in Barovia. This is the second time you've woken up here. Guess you really didn't die after all. That's a relief!You try to move, but you are very, very sore. You squint your eyes, and dim light assaults your vision. Your body is starting to wake up from what feels like it could easily have been a year-long nap.Eventually, with great effort, you manage to lift your head, and with what little strength you have, prop yourself up on your elbow.You are in a tent, laying on a pile of something - probably hay - covered by a blanket to make a makeshift bed. The dark purple color makes this interior feel luxurious... at least, as far as a tent can.After a few minutes, you find yourself to your feet. Your legs are wobbly, and your breath is unsteady, but you almost feel like you have a piece of autonomy again. Dying really takes it out of you.You don't want to remember that moment the Abbot stabbed that sword into your flesh. Not only was it embarrassing, it was also extremely traumatizing - you felt okay afterwards for that moment when you thought you were going to get to meet the Lord of Flames, but now that you're back in the land of the living, you are struck with the realization of what happened. Not to mention, if you die again, there probably won't be anyone willing to go through such an effort save you.Speaking of which, somebody [i]really[/i] wanted to save you - such a resurrection is no small cost. Why would the woman Ezmerelda described insist on keeping you, if she couldn't even put her finger on how she recognized you? That's still bothering you. You know your sister would know immediately if she saw you, even if the last time you saw her was when you were small. But really, who else could it be?That's when a realization strikes you - you are "in camp" right now. Ezmerelda said this woman would be here. And it looks like it's dusk. So why not just...You realize you are nervous. You slowly creep up to the door of the tent and peek out, quietly enough that anyone outside won't notice...Two people, Ezmerelda and a beaten-up-looking woman in tattered leather armor sit by a campfire. They're sitting about thirty feet away. The woman sitting next to Ezmerelda is... you can't believe it.She's literally right there, in the flesh.Your pulse begins racing; you have to steady yourself to avoid passing out.Suggestions:>Call out, "Joannus?!">Calm yourself, then walk out and calmly introduce yourself - you will catch HER by surprise. (Charisma, DC 15)>Run up to her and hug her.>After ten years, suddenly you realize you aren't ready for this interaction. Wait in the tent for a chance to speak to Ezmerelda first instead.>Have a panic attack.>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)>Other (specify)
I guess I can't do text formatting anymore, that sucks.
>>5353371>Calm yourself, then walk out and calmly introduce yourself - you will catch HER by surprise. (Charisma, DC 15)
>>5353371>>Calm yourself, then walk out and calmly introduce yourself - you will catch HER by surprise. (Charisma, DC 15)
>>5353371>Have a panic attack.
>>5353371>>Call out, "Joannus?!"Quest over. We successfully found our sister. Well done everyone.
>>5353371>>Have a panic attack.>>Call out, "Joannus?!"
>>5353371>>Have a panic attack.
Since we're tied 2/2/2, I've decided this vote (>>5353782), being the only vote employing two of the tied options, takes priority if no one breaks the tie within a couple hours.
>>5353990I mean, I guess if I have to.>Have a panic attack.
>Have a panic attack.It's her, undoubtedly. She looks almost exactly the same as you remember, but...You thought you were prepared to face her, to rescue her, but your mind spins with confusion. Does she still love you? Does she remember you? Of course she does - you came all this way just for her, she will be happy you've braved Barovia and brought her back - these thoughts are baseless fears. But how will you speak to her? How has she changed in these past years? How have YOU chagned?You realize your hands feel tingly, and you feel light headed. Somehow you are more nervous than you had been fighting monsters and surpassing insurmountable challenges to find her.Fighting hyperventilation, you decide the best way to approach this is to just step out and greet Ezmerelda and... and Joannus. Little do you know, this will not turn out to be a good idea.Trembling, you leave the tent. You probably look so weak - but that's okay, your sister will take care of you, this is what you came here for. For her love and guidance, to bring it back, since your parents would not.Step by step, you approach the two women. Your ghastly appearance must startle them, because Ezmerelda stands up suddenly and instinctively reaches for the axe on her belt, before realizing it's you and promptly rushing over to steady you.You turn your gaze to the woman next to her. To Joannus. She's scanning you, her eyes searching you for recognition. Then she says something... but you don't hear it.Your vision starts to recede. Ezmerelda helps you lower down to the damp grass next to the fire. "Easy, now," she says. "You should have stayed in bed. Clearly you are still wounded."Your sister rushes to your aid too, but you can tell by her face that she doesn't know it's you. She can't."Joannus," you say, with quick breaths, your heart pounding from panic. She looks at you blankly, concern over her face. "I came... I came to- to...""Let's get her some water," she says to Ezmerelda, picking up a waterskin by her side and bringing it to your mouth. This is the worst reunion ever. Why can't you do anything right? You spend ten years braving the dangers of Faerûn, but now that you're here, something doesn't feel right."You came to do what?" your sister asks, with a calm, forced intensity. Her accent has a hint of Barovian. "I saved you. Tell me why I needed to do that. Who are you?"The world is reduced to a point, and once again, you lose consciousness... again!!(cont.)
You are in the tent, your heart is pounding.Ezmerelda is outside. Joannus is still here, standing over you. Thank Kossuth you weren't just dreaming that, or you might've ended it right here. She is sitting by your side, looking down at you... angrily.An awkward tension fills the air, and you give her an apologetic look."Look, stranger..." she says. "I waited days for you to wake up. So before you pass out again, you better tell me who you are.""Joannus..." you say to her, weakly.She furrows her eyebrows. Frustrated, she continues, "There's a feeling that tells me I know you. You seem so familiar, that I... put myself in danger to make sure you were revived. Ezmerelda said you think you're related to me, but... I don't know if I believe that.""I was up there... I was trying to rescue you," you say, weakly. "I'm... sorry?"She grabs your shoulders and shakes you, as if trying to sober you up. "Idiot! I need answers! Why are you so dull? Bah, don't tell me this was a waste of time!""It's t-true!" you say, trying to calm her. "I'm your sister! It's me, Joannus, it's... it's Aranuel. I... I was up there to save you, from the merchants.""From what what?" she says. "Wait-- say that again.""F-from the-""No, say your name again.""Aranuel," you say, as calmly but intently as you can.You stare at her. She's holding eye contact, but her face is blank."It's me, Aranuel, I've come to save you."She focuses hard. She looks away, scanning her memories. You can tell she's deep in thought.Then something seems to light up in her eyes. "Aranuel..." she says, testing the word.Recognition seems to hit her all at once, and her face goes pale. You feel a flood of emotions; you want to hug her, to comfort her and feel her breath on your hair. You KNOW by her face that she remembers you. All that time you spent braving the unknowns of the world, the decade you spent alone, away from your family, for HER, not knowing if your beloved sister was dead or alive, and she's here now. It was all for this moment. And she hugs you...But something isn't right. The joy you feel for a fleeting moment, the feeling of finality, it all fades away. Because she is crying.And not happy crying either. You wrap your arms around her and try to understand how she could possibly be feeling. Her sobs sound guttural and horrible, like a mourning widow. The type of crying that means know you've lost something really important.What's the matter with her? Isn't she happy to see you again? How could this be sad for her?You no longer understand whether your mission is over. She was supposed to be strong, wasn't she?But in your heart, you know exactly what's wrong.(cont.)
You've held back from acknowledging it until this second, lest it penetrate your conscience and ruin the day. But you no longer have the energy to suppress the ugly reality: you don't recognize her, either.Her basic appearance is the same as you remember, yes, but the way she slouches, the way her voice falters when she speaks, the filth on her clothes... you don't know what's happened in the time since you last saw each other, but this isn't the same Joannus that you remember from when you were young.And that reality hits you with dread the longer you think about its implications. What might it mean?For one, it might mean both of you are stuck in Barovia. Both of you are victims of the mist, unable and unwilling to grapple with larger problems than immediate survival.When you look at her in this moment, she doesn't seem like the same beacon of hope, the same walking bag of ideas, ingenuity, and adventuring spirit that you remember. She's just Joannus Caniella, some girl traveling with a Vistana in tattered armor in a place scarier than the Hells.In short, this isn't the Joannus you had just been dreaming about. This valley has broken her.Within minutes, you are crying, too. You thought that the moment you found her, you could finally stop pretending to be the strong, hardened adventurer you've been for all this time, and she'd bring both of you home. You hadn't even spent a moment considering the possibility that she would fall apart like this - you thought that as soon as you found her, it'd be like no time had passed, and that at the very end of your mission, she'd take care of you like she did when you were young. So what is she doing now?You are nervous you don't know what you've gotten yourself into. How are you going to get home?>Stay silent. Allow yourself to give into the feelings.>Say, "I was so happy to see you, Aranuel.">Ask her why she left. You are mad at her for abandoning you, and after you spent most of your life looking for her, this isn't what you wanted.>Leave her be. She needs to have her moment. You can speak to her after you're both clear-headed. Find Ezmerelda and fill her in.>"Please gather your courage. You're better than this." (Persuasion, DC 20)>"It's not over yet." (Stop crying.) "We're going to get you out of Barovia and back home no matter what. Now let's make a plan." (Persuasion, DC 20)>Ask questions to Joannus. (e.g. "Why didn't you remember me?" "Do you know Strahd von Zarovich?")>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)>Other (specify)
Pretend the second option says Joannus instead of Aranuel.
>>5356840>>Ask her why she left. You are mad at her for abandoning you, and after you spent most of your life looking for her, this isn't what you wanted.
>>5356840>We were so worried. What happened to you here in Barovia?
>>5356840>>Stay silent. Allow yourself to give into the feelings.
>>5356840>Ask her why she left. You are mad at her for abandoning you, and after you spent most of your life looking for her, this isn't what you wanted.
I realize a longer-than-usual time is passing between my updates. But unlike Joannus, I haven't abandoned Aranuel. Thanks for being patient.
>>5357289>>5359828>Ask her why she left. You are mad at her for abandoning you, and after you spent most of your life looking for her, this isn't what you wanted....
"Why did you leave?" you find yourself asking Joannus. "How could you disappear for ten years, only now to fall apart like like? I'm... I'm saving you! You have to bring us home!"She's just recovering from her bout of tears. She leans back and looks at you in the eyes, but horror is falling onto her face now. She says nothing - her expression is empty."Joannus!" you say, grabbing her by the shoulders. "You are going to take us home now, right?" You can feel anger rising in your voice, just held under the surface by denial.She nearly begins to cry again, unable to handle this pressure you are putting on her.But what else are you supposed to do?! You came all this way, came this far, because it was the only way to get her back. You didn't even consider what you would do once you found her, because you didn't think it would matter. She's supposed to handle this part!Dark thoughts cross your mind. Thoughts regarding the nature of her disappearance a decade ago. These are thoughts that you've been toying with for so long that they've caused you to doubt the integrity of your mission, yet you do dare not acknowledge them directly - you wonder whether she was truly taken, or whether she left on purpose. You're not going to ask, of course. You don't think you can handle asking, just in case it's true. And you expel this idea as soon as it comes to your mind. But seeing the way she is reacting now has you scrambling for explanations, and not all of them are good ones.You stand to your feet. "So that's it?" you ask. "This is all I get after everything I went through?""Aranuel, I saved your life. It's been... a very long time. There are so many things you don't know. Please let me think.""I'm used to not knowing things," you tell her. "But I thought I knew what was going to happen when I finally found you. I thought we were going to go home!"That dull look of sadness and horror returns to her face.You shake your head in disappointment. You turn to walk out of the room. "I'm sorry," you tell her, although you only half mean it. "We'll talk later."Maybe she really does just need time to think. You're not sure why you expected anything less, but why is she acting like seeing you was some kind of horrible fate? No smiles, no joy - just a haze in her eyes! And as soon as she found out who you were, she was looking at you like you'd just slapped her in the face. Why?Fuming with sad anger, you limp on over to Ezmerelda, who's warming herself by the fire.(cont.)
Ezmerelda gives you a side glance. "So is it really her?" she asks, amused."Tell me, please, how we're going to get home," you say."What?" Ezmerelda asks, clearly confused at your dour mood. She must have assumed you'd be elated to meet your sister again. You had thought the same thing."We need help. I found her, now we need to return - she's not herself at the moment, so we are going to need direction.""What has you so urgent to move from one thing to the next?" Ezmerelda asks. "I don't like Barovia either, but you just reunited with the person you've been looking for your whole life. Can you not enjoy this celebration?""N-no," you say. "Listen, my sister is acting... unlike her normal self." Your voice wavers as you say it. You know the truth, you're just in denial."Well I'm sorry, but I don't think there is a way out of Barovia.""Well what is that supposed to mean?" you say, frustrated. "What do you think I came here for? Not to stay and sightsee.""The hand of fate can be cruel," Ezmerelda says. "The Mists trap all in Barovia. This is common knowledge among Barovians and the Vistani. You, of all people, should be aware of this; you came here on purpose, did you not?"You'd been taught about the mists ever since shortly after you arrived. Multiple people told you that the fog is impenetrable. But you didn't think it mattered. Your mission was in Barovia - it's where your sister was, so it was where you needed to be. And now you have her. But your sister isn't herself right now, and that puts the burden on you."Do you really mean to say there's no way out? you ask after a moment, already knowing the answer in your heart, but retaining some hope. "You are a Vistana, you can enter and leave Barovia at will. Can you not bring us?""There is nothing I can do for you," she says, a hint of compassion yet finality in her tone. "Your fate is here, in the mists."It's drizzling ever so lightly, just enough to make the grass damp, and the sky is a dull gray. You feel frustration rising in your chest. You had almost tuned it out, but Castle Ravenloft looms in the distance, its oppressive shape casting one massive shadow over the valley.You feel like you're being watched, all the way from atop that great pillar of stone that Castle Ravenloft rests on.(cont.)
"Where are we going?" you finally muster the will to ask, meekly. You aren't able to discern where you are just from the position of the castle."Nowhere in particular," she replies. "We're moving east, closer to Vallaki. There's a place I wanted to investigate before my detour to Krezk, but you are free to do your own thing.""You're not entering Vallak, right?" You are certain that can't end well.She shakes her head. "Not anything that will help you, either. It's a personal matter. An old abandoned wizard's tower on Lake Zarovich."That leaves you directionless. You can still barely feel your limbs after dying and being resurrected, and Joannus thinks your presence in Barovia is a death sentence.Yes, that's it. You know in your heart that's how she is feeling. She's grieving you. Because you may have just found your sister, but in her mind, she's just lost hers....Many hours pass. The night is late. You are laying awake in your bed.You are still wounded (Exhaustion Level 4). However, you may feel better in the morning if you spend the night resting.Whatever you do, you'll eventually need to form a plan. You have a complete lack of direction. What have you learned so far in Barovia, and how can you possibly make sense of it all? Do you have ANY leads?(Pick a long-term course of action to define the next part of your quest):>Aid Ezmerelda in her quest to find her old mentor. She seems capable, and allies will be important.>Madame Eva told you your fortune when you were on the road to Vallaki about a week ago. You were given predictions of events that would happen to you in Barovia, of boons you would find, and of a great battle you would wage. What if there is something to that? You should review that fortune and use it as a guide.>It would be wise to return to the Village of Barovia and locate Ismark. He was the first ally you met in this valley. The only problem is that you've been skimping on your promise to him: you said you'd ensure the safety of his sister, Ireena, and now you have no idea where she is.>The first task you were assigned when you arrived in Barovia was to escort Ireena, the sister of the burgomaster of the Village of Barovia, across the valley to safety. You handed her off to a nobleman named Vasili von Holtz in Vallaki during the coup, but you now have a sneaking suspicion you may have handed her over to someone untrustworthy. If you're stuck in Barovia, you need to find her again.>The truth lies in the heart of the valley: Castle Ravenloft. The vampire Strahd von Zarovich told you where you'd find your sister - he was right. Now, return to him, and ask him what to do next.>Explore. There are secrets in this land that you may find without help....Your head spins. You have far too many unresolved thoughts to settle on anything now.(Choose one action tonight):>Sleep. Find out what to do in the morning. (Long Rest)>Go see if your sister is awake, and try to talk to her now.
>>5362731>Sleep. Find out what to do in the morning. (Long Rest)Aid Ezmerelda in her quest to find her old mentor. She seems capable, and allies will be important.
>>5362731>>The first task you were assigned when you arrived in Barovia was to escort Ireena, the sister of the burgomaster of the Village of Barovia, across the valley to safety. You handed her off to a nobleman named Vasili von Holtz in Vallaki during the coup, but you now have a sneaking suspicion you may have handed her over to someone untrustworthy. If you're stuck in Barovia, you need to find her again>Sleep. Find out what to do in the morning. (Long Rest)
>>5362731>>Madame Eva told you your fortune when you were on the road to Vallaki about a week ago. You were given predictions of events that would happen to you in Barovia, of boons you would find, and of a great battle you would wage. What if there is something to that? You should review that fortune and use it as a guide.>Go see if your sister is awake, and try to talk to her now.
>>5362731>The first task you were assigned when you arrived in Barovia was to escort Ireena, the sister of the burgomaster of the Village of Barovia, across the valley to safety. You handed her off to a nobleman named Vasili von Holtz in Vallaki during the coup, but you now have a sneaking suspicion you may have handed her over to someone untrustworthy. If you're stuck in Barovia, you need to find her again.The fortune will probably self fulfill, and going back to Strahd is stupid.>Go see if your sister is awake, and try to talk to her now.
>>5362731>The first task you were assigned when you arrived in Barovia was to escort Ireena, the sister of the burgomaster of the Village of Barovia, across the valley to safety. You handed her off to a nobleman named Vasili von Holtz in Vallaki during the coup, but you now have a sneaking suspicion you may have handed her over to someone untrustworthy. If you're stuck in Barovia, you need to find her again.>Go see if your sister is awake, and try to talk to her now.
Hey guys, sorry for the long time passing between updates. For compensation, I'd like to give you a little blogpost to explain where I'm at, since I'm not going to be posting an update today either.The quest will continue at its old pace as soon as I want to. I'm a little burned out, but I will get the energy back soon enough. I'm just taking a little intermission. We're adapting a real D&D 5e campaign book here, so it's not like there is a huge writing burden on me. To understand why I am slowing down in updates, we simply need to look at where we are in Aranuel's story. We're currently reaching the ending of what I would consider "Act 1" of Barovian Legends. What does that mean? Well, I have a rough outline of major planned beats, and Aranuel's predicament with her sister being a let-down was always planned to be something that forces her to become heroic and face the threats in Barovia instead of ignoring them. If anons submit good votes, she will piece together the fortune reading and the curse of the valley, creating an exciting "Act 2" which may span another 3 or 4 threads.I would like to start Barovian Legends #4 right now, but there are still some loose ends to tie up left in camp between Aranuel and her sister, so I can't write the parts I find fun and exciting yet. We can expect 3 or 4 more updates before I start a new thread.I may even change the name of our next thread to mark the narrative change.Anyway, that's the end of my blogpost. If anyone wanted to know more about my process into this thread, now you have your answer. If you don't care about this stuff, that's fine, this post wasn't for you. Thanks for everyone who has been reading my quest up to this point, see you soon~
>>5362731>Madame Eva told you your fortune when you were on the road to Vallaki about a week ago. You were given predictions of events that would happen to you in Barovia, of boons you would find, and of a great battle you would wage. What if there is something to that? You should review that fortune and use it as a guide.>Sleep. Find out what to do in the morning. (Long Rest)>>5369302Thanks for running.
>>5369311You're welcome. Also, there's now a tie between Aranuel sleeping (3 votes) and Aranuel talking to her sister tonight (3 votes). If anyone wants to break that tie, I will leave voting open so you have that chance. (I was going to close voting just now since all the votes are 4 days old, but you ninja posted before I could, so I will leave it open out of principle.)
>>5369302Yay to more failed seduction rolls
It's not over.
qm are you seriously still waiting on the tie break
>>5376888Yes, but I'm also having a little vacation.
I'm like the George RR Martin of /qst/. But it's only been 2 weeks instead of 11 years, and I'm not going to die of a heart attack before posting the next update.
Rolled 1 (1d2)Okay let's settle it. A roll of 1 counts as vote for going to bed; a roll of 2, and Aranuel will eschew sleep to reconcile with her sister.
Though you find initially find it hard to drift back to sleep, the dismal sound of rain on the tent soon lulls you to bed, and your mind drifts away.Your dreams are initially the same as they were last night - your home in Faerûn, and of the awe you held for your sister. But tonight something is different.Your dreams turn to nightmares. You picture yourself in Joannus's shoes, sailing the Sea of Swords, bartering for cursed artifacts on the Waterdhavian black market, accepting dangerous jobs for coin in derelict villages along King's Road. You imagine your little sister, Aranuel, looking up to you as a role model, and you feel guilty; not because you are a bad role model, but because it's an illusion, a false image. The weight of the world is on your shoulders, but you are just woman. You're in over your head, and you cannot hope to deliver.You wake up with the dull daylight creeping in through the cracks inyour tent. You didn't get much sleep - you rested all night, but you feel like you only slept for 5, if that - but you still wake up feeling a step healthier. It feels as though the cost of your death, the crippling fatigue, is losing some of its edge... you feel your muscles working again as you push yourself to your feet. Maybe you will recover fully and be back to your old self soon enough.Long RestYou rested for 8 hours. You regained all expended spell slots, half of all expended hit dice, and lost 1 level of Exhaustion.You dropped from Exhastion Level 4 to Exhaustion Level 3, losing the following penalties:- You no longer have disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Saving throws.(cont.)
Come morning, Joannus is eating by the fire. Nothing fresh or fancy - plants, mushrooms, scavenged from the forest no doubt. You realize you are hungry as well, so you join her.She doesn't look at you. You could attempt to read her, or say something to her now, but it might be wiser to leaver he alone until you have a longer moment together.>Read your sister, but don't engage. (Insight, DC 12)>Engage in dialogue with your sister. (Charisma, DC 14)>Just focus on eating. There will be time later.You can't help but feel a sense of unease in your throat as you look at her now. Even without the haze of exhaustion, by the fire in the gray light, she seems like an empty shell. You don't know how you can tell, but you just can. She's devoid of substance.Your attention is taken by Ezmerelda. "We're moving today," she says. "We're on the Old Svalich Road - whatever you may plan to do, we may wish to part ways here, unless you mean to accompany me to this wizard's tower."You ponder your options. "The road is safer together," you say. "And I know what I have to do. When I arrived in Barovia, I met a girl - Ireena, from the village - and promised Ismark, the burgomaster, to keep her safe. I've neglected that duty." You take a look at Joannus. She makes no attempt to comment or interject, and she almost seems to feign indifference as she catches your glance. What's her problem? "I may have just found my sister after all this time, and I have you to thank for that... sincerely... but it's looking like... we will need time to fully reunite."Ezmerelda chews on those words. "Well, make your choice. I could certainly use your extra hands on the road, but you have relieved me of my duty to protect your sister - I have full confidence the two of you are safe together alone. Be aware, I did bring you back to life. Thus, whatever you choose, know that if you do not stay, I may call upon you for aid in the future."You make commit it duly to memory, regardless of whether you mean to repay her - she seems like a formidable ally to have. She may well be among the worst person to be indebted to in this valley.You return to your meal......(cont.)
Regarding broader urgencies, the map shows you where you are relative to all other landmarks in the Valley of Barovia.For your main quest (ensuring the safety of Ireena) you don't currently have anything you might generously call a lead - all you know is that Ireena and Vasili von Holtz said they were heading east when they departed Vallaki, and that they would be closer to Castle Ravenloft and the Village of Barovia. If Ireena is in any danger with the strange noble, some clever words sent to via a paper bird might trick them into giving information that would allow you confirm her status safely. Or you could track them physically, which would give you the benefit of secrecy.Either way, there is an even more pressing concern at this moment: it is unsafe in all directions. The woods are full of danger. The nearest settlement is Vallaki, and the part you played in the chaos that erupted there last time means re-entering now may be your worst mistake. Same with Krezk, and its cursed Abbey, with that Abbot still alive at least... You need a new base of operations.Looking over the map, vote on an immediate location to travel to, as well as the route to get there.The party's position is marked with the sword. For reference, Vallaki is about 6 hours away. Travel times can be calculated for any destination based on route and hex size.The route you select and the amount of time you spend in travel will affect the type and quantity of dangerous encounters you may face along the way. There are distinct encounter tables for different regions and times of day - it's more dangerous in the woods at night, for example, especially for a party of two.Make your choice:>Follow Ezmerelda to her destination - an abandoned wizard's tower by Lake Zarovich.>Split off with Joannus. Get set on the trail now, eastward to Barovia. It's a long distance, but the village is the only safe settlement left.>Explore your immediate surroundings. Follow the trail south, taking either the east branch or the west branch.>Go west, then head downward, toward where the map claims the winery is. You may not be able to solve the wine issue, but maybe it's safe there.>Take your chances returning to Vallaki and find out what the city has become. It's close, but if you're stealthy, maybe you can hide out there, and maybe even make connections that could help with Ireena.>Head out into uncharted lands. Go north, into the Svalich Woods - you will find salvation circling around the north of Lake Zarovich.>Something else. (If you're inclined, feel free to download the map, mark a position, and draw a path of travel - just make sure there's a purpose.)
I should add, all options involve bringing your sister along with you.
>>5377661>Explore your immediate surroundings. Follow the trail south, taking either the east branch or the west branch.
>>5377661>Go west, then head downward, toward where the map claims the winery is. You may not be able to solve the wine issue, but maybe it's safe there.
>>5377661>>Go west, then head downward, toward where the map claims the winery is. You may not be able to solve the wine issue, but maybe it's safe there.
>>5377661>>Split off with Joannus. Get set on the trail now, eastward to Barovia. It's a long distance, but the village is the only safe settlement left.
Alright, votes are locked in. We're about to get kicked off the catalog.If the thread is still here tomorrow, I might write an update. Otherwise, expect a new thread, starting in medias res on the road to the winery.>Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5343551/>Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5343551/>Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5343551/