Finally free of the Death House the party pauses only briefly in the Village of Barovia and some of the characters go to the Blood of the Vine tavern and meet Arik the bartender and Ismark Kolyanovich, the son of the Burgomaster of the village.
He relates to Joan a little about Barovia and it’s people and “the Devil Strahd”. He also implores her to help him get his sister Ireena, out of the village and as far away from Castle Ravenloft as possible. It seems that Strahd has taken a liking to her and has charmed his way into their mansion and fed on her. Meanwhile, Janus does a rousing set of music for the bartender, Ismark and the three Vistani who own the place and makes a little coin.
After encountering a rather spooky graveyard and an old gallows at the River Ivlisk crossroads (where Garrett sees a ghostly version of his corpse hanging from a noose) they defeat a lone barbarian berserker and make their way to the Vistani camp.
There they meet Madam Eva who insists on doing a Taroka card reading of their fortunes before she answers any questions about their current predicament. Here are the results of the card reading (with some additional info that I forgot to read at the table):
Card 1: “This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy”
The Master of Swords— Warrior: “That which you seek lies in the womb of darkness, the devil’s lair; the one place to which he must return.”
Card 2: “This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope.”
7 of Coins— Thief: “What you seek lies at the crossroads of life and death, among the buried dead.”
Card 3: “This is a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight.”
4 of Stars— Abjurer: “I see a fallen house guarded by a great stone dragon. Look to the highest peak.”
Card 4: “This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness.”
The Broken One: “Your greatest ally will be a wizard. His mind is broken but his spells are strong.”
Card 5: “This final card will lead you to your enemy; a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality.”
The Donjon: “He lurks in a hall of bones, in the dark pits of his castle.”
FYI, I read the wrong line in the book for that last one so it probably doesn’t jive with what you wrote down if you were taking notes.
When we kick off next session you will have an opportunity to question the Vistani to better understand the land of Barovia and it’s people, Strahd’s backstory, and how to interpret the Taroka cards in the reading.
The only treasure from last session was a 50 gp gold ring that Nephus found on the skeleton in the prison before you escaped Death House.
See you all in a couple of weeks!