When we finally got a second table going, it consisted of my husband (DM), his friend (Milo a Halfling Rogue), one co-worker (Malachi, a Half-Orc Barbarian), and myself (Aleera a Half-Elf Bard). We restarted “Mines of Phandelver” and had to immediately restart again because our rogue died in the very first encounter when a creature landed a critical and doubled his hit points in one blow. We were just re-beginning when we got another 2 players. The rogue and my husband were old friends with these guys and they claimed to be veterans that could help us learn how to play. They created their characters, Wick (a gnome Paladin of Helm) and Mithra (a red dragonborn sorcerer). Mithra’s name was actually spelled ‘Mitth’raw’ndouro Yat’teli’eli’Abini’. That was ridiculous so we just called him Mithra. Since we had so many new players we decided to begin a new campaign and were in the woods of Neverwinter when we were whisked off by a strange mist to the land of Barovia! Dun Dun Dun!
We went through the death house and found a semi-sentient flying broom that had been trapped in a broom closet for who knows how long. It darted out when we opened the door and that led to our first in party conflict. Milo the rogue, threw chains on the broom to try and bring it down from its frantic flitting about the room but failed his role. My Bard then tried to coax the broom down by talking gently and crooning it down to where it would let me touch it. That’s when the rogue jumped past me and tried to jump on the broom to fly it. It bucked him off like a horse and hid behind me. Through most of the beginning of the campaign the rogue tried to steal the broom away from me even going so far as to attack my PC for it. It got to the point where my Bard threatened to kill him if he didn’t stop. It was pretty tense but he learned his lesson and never threatened my character again. It helped that all my spells had wisdom saving throws and his wisdom was a 3. No joke, when he rolled his stats one came up all snake eyes, even when being able to throw away one roll! So that was fun.
While exploring the bowels of the death house we saw some pretty ghoulish things. I won’t say too much as I don’t want to spoil everything for people who haven’t played it before. I will say that while under the house my PC almost got her arm cut off because the door she tried to open was a mimic and I failed the roll to detect it. It rippled and split to chomp down on my arm. I also found some nasty stuff that was just for show but I like the macabre so I took them. There was a mummified yellow hand on a rope, a knife carved from human bone and a small wooden coffer with a wolf tongue in it, among other things. I was actually able to use these much later so I’m glad I picked them up. Overall the death house was a nightmare and it only got darker from there. We made our way to the town of Barovia in the Land of Barovia. I know. It was kinda hard to keep track of which was being spoken about at any given time.
On our way we stopped in a small village, Pinewood. This session took place at the end of October so we found a Halloween module to run and found “Shadows Over Pinewood”. We decorated the place and bought hella snacks. During the session, the Barbarian got infected by a terrible monster that had plagued the town for the last few nights. It got in a claw attack before disappearing into the woods. He started feeling ill and turning into whatever the original creature was. Our investigation led back to the only bar/inn in town, where we told the survivors to hole up. He was comforting a little girl that seemed to be really frightened. We noticed too late that her eyes started glowing yellow. She was hugging the Barbarian around the neck when her hands began turning into claws and digging into his back. He fought it off and it disappeared leaving us to try and find it in the bar.
For that special session we had invited Mulan back for a one time appearance as he was moving to Florida in a few weeks. In a major twist of events he became the other BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy). Him and my husband had been texting during the session and he had asked to be a bad guy since it would be his last time playing with us and he wanted it to be memorable. So we were in the middle of fighting this invisible monster that could look like cute little girls and it devours Mulan. In order to break out of it he had to transform and drop his guise. It revealed a powerful vampire and servant to Strahd named Calen. We were so surprised and impressed with this twist of events. It really made the session memorable. Then we killed Calen, while also doing a boatload of damage to the tavern. It was an emotional and exhausting session but we all had fun and it brought our group closer together. At the end of the session Mulan left his amazing clear dice with shadows inside, with our table. We still have them and use them in his honor.