Disclaimer: This includes spoilers for Curse of Strahd so don’t read if you don’t want to know.
After being able to sleep for a bit inside Asterisck’s store, we made our way out into the bowels of Castle Ravenloft. As our party entered a large crypt we came across an opulent coffer. We believed it was the tomb of Strahd. When we opened it, we found the remains of Sergei, Strahd’s brother. His spirit emerged and gave Malachi a sort of pep talk. After wandering the halls for a while longer we came across a chapel and saw Strahd standing there with his brides and the flesh golem that the Abbot of Krezk had made. She was in a beautiful white wedding dress and veil.
We were spotted and the fight began. Strahd sent his brides to fight us first while he tried to get the ceremony started. The first one we fought was a young human girl who made herself fat off of blood and used it to make many blood soldiers to fight for her. Then we fought the Drow bride. She used blood to make weapons to fight us with. Finally, we fought the Vistani Bride who used blood curses to weaken us. After dispatching them we turned to Strahd. He had been weakened by our breaking of his connection to the castle as an extra reservoir of power and was now just a slightly stronger vampire. Malachi, Kariss, Wick and Aleera began to chant the ritual to break the connection between Strahd and his patron to weaken him further and kill him.
We thought this would free the land of Barovia. We thought it would fix everything. We didn’t know that we were just the pawns of the gods and that we had just failed in our task. We killed Strahd after completing the ritual and heard a howling in the air. We turned to look only to realize that the flesh golem was changing. Her eyes were glowing red and the scars from all the different people she was made of faded. Her dress and other clothing turned a deep shade of red, seeming to turn to liquid. She summoned a giant blood beast and three smaller blood minions.
In our hurry to kill our perceived enemy, Strahd, we had released Sable, the Queen of Blood Pacts. The land of Barovia had served as her prison. The Morning Lord, Lyssander, had loved a mortal woman. He went to the gods to beseech that they make her immortal. In their contempt at such a question they agreed to make her immortal but made her unable to exist in the light of the sun. She would forever have to be apart from her godly lover. Barovia was a land with no sun so she could exist there without fear of Lyssander’s light. Somehow the ways in and out had been closed and she had been unable to escape until she found a way through the deal with Strahd. Now that we had freed her from her pact she was free to leave and wreak havoc wherever she wanted.
It seemed she wanted to start by wiping our party off the face of the world. We fought our way through her minions and came after her. At first our party seemed to be doing no damage. We would tear through her and she would still be unscathed. After a while we realized that her clothing was getting more and more tattered until there was almost nothing covering her. Seeing that she was starting to get seriously hurt she called all the blood splattering the area to her. It formed a giant disk behind her and the energy in the air became electrified.
Mithra turned to us and demanded the fang that Arginvostholtz had given us and stabbed it into his chest. We all ran towards him to help but it was too late! From the disk behind Sable emerged a huge blood beast. Mithra turned into a silver dragon and attacked the beast, giving us enough time to recuperate and join in. Sable threw everything she had at us and Wick knew we would not be able to withstand her assault much longer. Suddenly his body became infused with a golden light. The armor that had taken such a beating this battle was full and bright gold. He grew to a huge size and took on Sable. In the end we were able to kill her. With her minions out of the way the rest of our party slowly cut her down until she was nothing but a smudge of blood on the floor.
With Sable dead we thought our mission had been a success, that we had done our jobs. We forgot about the other two Queens. Milo had set free the other Queens. The dark land of Barovia had not just been a prison for Sable but for many dark powers. The Queens had been among those powers and we had let them go free. This could not go uncorrected by the gods.
The Abbot of Krezk, really a Deva, came to the castle. He was heralding the coming of the old gods. Those chaotic forces of creation were coming to cauterize the wound that was now Barovia and we were right in the center of it.