Basti inspects the corpse in the chest and determines the victim to be a hapless adventurer killed by a poison dart trap. As he is about to inspect the chest Egon decides to make sure the chest is really a chest – yeah – and hurls a javelin into the narrow chamber and deep into Basti. So I guess the chamber was still dangerous, but not for the obvious reasons.
Inspecting the chest and corpse nets a number of items, including:
- a battered message on the corpse containing a plea for help from the the Burgomaster of Barvovia, Kolyan Indirovich.. A great evil has befallen someone close to him and he is offering a reward for assistance in ridding them of their woes.
- the deed to the house and a windmill, and the last will of the Durst family.
- A handful of magic scrolls.
- a letter from Strahd von Zarovich to Gustav Durst. The elder Dursts seem to worship Strahd as a messianic figure and perform rituals and sacrifices in his honour. Strahd thinks nothing of them at all. Additionally, it would seem there is a dungeon and alter to be found.
The party completely explore the rest of the house, finding a few valuables and an assortment of crossbows, before finally playing the harpsichord. Something in the house grinds to life. The party return to the attic to find a newly exposed, narrow spiral staircase descending deep into the house.
Following the stairs down they find themselves in a series of narrow, man made tunnels. An undecipherable, persistent chanting echoing through the halls. They discover the family crypts and lay to rest the corpses of Rose or Thorn- or maybe not, they kind of mixed the bones all up. They discover the empty crypts of Gustav and Elisabeth as well. Badger opens the matriarchs resting place and is assaulted by a massive swarm of colourless, silent wasps. Mostly in the mouth.
After they deal with the wasps, Basti scouts ahead to find a dining room littered with human bones. The room contains a number of exists and a small larder. Egon opens the larder and is violently attacked by a Grick. The monster is able to knock Basti out and attempts to leave with its new meal, but Egon grapples the creature to the ground. Wren delivers an elbow drop from the top of the table to finish the beast off.
They press on, finding accommodations for both the leaders and the members of what is clearly a cult. One hall contains a descending staircase, from which the chants emanate. As they explore a particularly tight corridor they are ambushed by ghouls erupting from the walls. The battle goes really well; Wren, Badger and Mira do their part and butcher the ghouls. Egon is about to have a highlight of the night moment when he grapples a ghoul Zangief-style. Before he can unleash the ’gief Basti fucks it all up and almost stabs Egon in the eye, causing him to drop the monster. Arveen turns the creature, sending it running, but Basti is pretty sure he can fuck that up too and tackles the fleeing creature in a hallway far from the rest of the party. The ghoul thanks him then quickly knocks the rogue out. Badger rushes to save his friend(?), only to be caught in a spiked pit trap, felling him too. Arveen finally ends the pain by kill the last ghoul and stabilizing her friends(?).
It started off so cool, too.
Battered and bloody the party lick their wounds and consider their options: two more paths remain, one to the west, and one that leads deeper into the dungeon and to the source of the strange, persistent chanting…