Disclaimer: This includes spoilers for Curse of Strahd so don’t read if you don’t want to know.
We left the castle of Argynvostholt and made our way back to Valaki to regroup. It was close and we were soon within eyesight of the town. As we approached the gates we stopped at the Vistani camp and took them up on their offer of hospitality. They threw a feast in our honor. We danced and sang with them as the night wound down and then we retired to our tents for the night. Our paladin Wick had invited a few ladies to his tent for the night and was having fun when all hell broke loose.
At first there were just a few screams that could have been people having fun or playing but then they grew and intensified. My bard and Malachi the Barbarian woke up to see some shadowed people come into the tent. They went to touch us when Malachi brought down the tent around us trapping the intruders inside. We had put ourselves close to the walls of the tent so we just found the seam and crawled out. Malachi looked around and saw that Rictavio was attacking the camp.
It was van Richten, that’s right Rictavio was van Richten’s disguise for getting around Barovia. We tried to stop him but he had already killed quite a few of the Vistani. Many of them were already transformed or in the process of transforming into werewolves, the same werewolves that had been hounding us all over Barovia. He told us that the Vistani were planning on stealing our items on request from Strahd, they were also the tribe that had sold his son to vampires. We went with him to confront the King. We found him on his throne with the little girl we had saved earlier behind him. Van Richten killed him and we motioned to Arabelle, the little girl and daughter of the Vistani King, asking her to come with us.
Now that the King was dead, van Richten stopped to give us some items as we coaxed the little girl out. She just smirked and turned into an old haggard woman. It was Baba Lysaga, Strahd’s wet nurse from long ago and a dark magic practitioner. She decapitated van Richten on the spot and flew off toward Valaki. On her way out she yelled at us that they had our friends as hostages and to come into the city if we wanted them back. Of course we went.
We met Baba Lysaga in the center of town. She sat astride a large tree with a house in the center and began to hurl magic at us. We scattered and began to fight. Many of the buildings suffered damage as we tried to fight her off. Attached to the house was a giant cage stuffed full of crows. We didn’t know if they were our were-crow friends or just a bunch of crows, so we had to be careful. Even then we still made some mistakes and accidentally hit the cage as we were fighting. Some of the crows were killed. We eventually did end up beating Baba Lysaga and freeing the left over crows. We were just sad we couldn’t save all of them.
We thought the battle was over then. We assumed we were safe with most of the city being dead, in thrall, or evil and dead by our hands. It was then that we heard a slow clapping coming from somewhere ahead. There was a man dressed in all black making his way down the main road clapping his hands. As he came close we began to hear horrible, tormented cries. They seemed to be coming from nowhere and grew louder the closer he came to us. There was a seriously evil aura emanating from this guy. We were getting ready to fight when one of the doors in the now ruined buildings around us popped open.
It was Sylvia, the prim assistant to our favorite vendor Triple A. She motioned for us to get in with a desperate wave of her hand. As we made our way towards the door, a dark storm began to brew overhead. The evil guy also started to walk faster towards us, the screams intensifying with every step. We had just made it inside when a large thump was heard all around us. See, Triple A operated out of its own pocket dimension and so could technically be anywhere for business, hence why we needed special cards to locate the entrance. We had stepped into this pocket dimension just as Strahd arrived to try and smite us down. Sylvia explained to us that we could take a long rest here before heading back out. She told us that Strahd was trying to shrink down the store space to eventually take them out of existence and we were their only hope of escaping this land. We set ourselves down to rest frightened and worried about how long this space would hold out against Strahd’s immense power.