btstrahd

Party Crashers

Vargas is on the cusp of doing something terrible to the boy who laughed at him. Rictavio tells Herman to find him at a nearby tower and asks to keep eyes off of him so he can slip away. Herman kills two birds with one stone by punching the Burgomeister in the face.

All that can be heard is the rain. Before the shock subsides a voice calls for the Vargas’ head from the crowd, then another. The men seem shocked by what they are saying. Suddenly a guard is stabbed by a member of the crowd who himself is stunned to to have done so. Those on the stage are suddenly aware that the cult has hidden themselves amongst the crowd and are using their magic to command the villagers to attack the guards and each other.

The party does their best to take out the cultists but as one dies two more appear. They speak words of pain to wound horses, causing the beasts to rampage and crash into the crowded masses. Villagers attack gaurds, who lash out in panic into the crowd. Within minutes the dreary party has become a full blown riot. The party and the guards struggle to kill the cultists as Izek and a group of guards lead Ireena, Vargas and Lydia back toward the mansion. From the direction of the church breaking glass can be heard follow by shrill shrieking. Occasionally a saber-toothed tiger passes through.

At some point the sun is finally ignited, and Herman reasons this is the inspiration the town needs to cool down, so he serenades the riot with cries of ‘all will be well!’ as he stands before the burning sphere and the parties casters send rays of flame into the cultists in the crowd. Briza ups the ante by tossing fireballs and thunder waves into buildings housing attackers, showering the scene in flames and debris. It’s pretty much the apocalypse.

Herman takes an interest in the tiger and rushes to catch it. His timing is poor, however: the sound from the church is made clear when thousands of bats fill the skies, heralding the approach of a number of vampire spawn from the direction of the church. If that weren’t bad enough, more vampire spawn have blocked the path back to the mansion, causing Izek, Ireena, Vargas and Lydia to turn back. And if that weren’t bad enough, the massive sun at the center of the festival explodes, revealing Strahd at it’s core, burning and laughing at they mayhem around him.

Strahd wastes no time heading for Trin. He angrily demands his journal be returned and badly wounds her and Galen. Briza knows where this is going and rushes back to the Blue Water to round up their gear in preparation for a hot escape. Trin is left with little choice but to return the Devil’s book. Delighted, Strahd decides to claim Ireena while he’s here and begins a slow, mocking chase for her.

Herman helps Izek hold off the vampire spawn so that Ireena, Vargas and Lydia can escape back to the mansion, which is surrounded by wolves. Trin and Galen make it inside as well as Karl and Mira assist in the battle against the spawn. Strahd arrives at the mansion and demands Ireena come outside. He reveals he has Urwins children tied by the neck under a tree and will hang them unless she comes. Something is unusual about this, as Briza arrives at the Blue Water to find a secret passage in the inn where those same children and hiding with their mother. Mira ends the illusion by shooting the ‘rope’ around their necks. Strahd is annoyed by this, and decides to reveal a secret of his own: with a wave of his hand a cloud passes before moon, changing it’s phase from to full.

Mira’s heart pounds. Her blood races. Her bones ache and breathing becomes much too difficult, she collapses in pain and howls, before standing again as a werewolf….

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tomvinegar

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