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Moving Forward
As I kneel on familiar ground and breathe the fresh air again, I'm overwhelmed by a rush of events demanding my attention:

  • First - my star-metal nugget no longer feels warm. It was once a conduit of power, but it is now cut off. I don't feel anger or betrayal - more of a sense of closure. If I had to guess, it seems that whatever purpose Ulban had set out for me is now complete, and our pact has been withdrawn. Perhaps he will have need of me again some day, or perhaps the Messenger will find a new vessel.
  • Second - I feel a greater connection than ever to Delleb. What was only the barest lifeline while trapped in Strahd's realm is now a floodgate. A torrent of knowledge floods in to replace what I've lost, and to provide me with a new purpose:
  • Rather than focus my energies on avenging the wrongs I witness, I'm being called to be as his favored sabre to strike down Tyranny and preserve the sanctity of life. I'm humbled by the honor. There are stories of those empowered this way in the past - mainly to oppose the works of Hextor during times of great conflict.
  • As a result, I retain most of my Paladin training (but have been released from my Oath of Vengeance). In place of my former arcane powers, I have been imbued with divine magics - some resembling those of a sorcerer (ranging from taking flight to tossing fireballs), and some focused on the domain of life (curing the sick and even raising the dead).
Session: Problem 1 - Tuesday, Sep 26 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
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Tags: backstory , Summary
Waking from a Nightmare
As we pass through the mists and back into our homeland, the memories of our recent adventures start to seem foggy and unreal. At this point, the following still sticks in my mind:

Oscar, Anton, and I left the Vistani wagon heading out of Ravenloft, and turned back toward Valaki. We were met by Laucian - a Cleric survivor of Mordenkainen's peasant army, Randy - a Bard from another world, and Sergei - a Paladin who had a run-in with the Vistani. They agreed to join us, so we gathered up supplies & horses and headed towards Strahd's castle.

Rather than barge through the main gate - setting off traps and attracting guardians, we discovered a back door of sorts. We had just enough magic between us to levitate slowly up behind the castle to the attached outbuildings, then shatter a window and enter. We discovered coffins identified as King Barov and Queen Ravenovia. There seemed to be no threat, so we left them in peace.

We dispelled a blue magical field around the outbuilding, and entered the burial vault. We explored a group of numbered crypts, including one with Laucian's named on it (and containing his 'corpse') - more of Strahd's deceit, no doubt. Another crypt belonged to Gralmore Niblenobs - inside we found a white-bearded corpse clutching a staff of brass and marble. Ray put the staff into a shallow recess in a slab within the crypt, which opened a chamber containing a leather case containing a sword hilt.

We discovered that the hilt was magical - upon wielding it, a shimmering blade projected from the hilt. Somehow I got an empathic reading from the blade - it apparently belonged to Sergei (Strahd's brother). It was originally a thin crystal blade, before Strahd instructed a wizard to destroy it. Somehow, the wizard's apprentice (Niblenobs) snuck the hilt out and preserved the enchantment - deadly to undead creatures. I accepted the weapon to use against Strahd.

Further inside the vault, we discovered a room containing three coffins - these turned out to belong to three women in wedding dresses who rose out to attack us (along with swarms of bats from the vault). We were able to destroy one and drive off another, only to be confronted with Strahd himself.

Little remains in my mind of the fight with Strahd, except that it was long and grueling. He struck again and again with powerful spells, transported himself around the room to frustrate our tactics, and taxed the last reserves of our strength - but somehow we prevailed. We did everything we were aware of from Van Richten's notes to dispose of the beast for good, and left the castle behind.

Unfortunately, it seems that this evil realm abhors a vacuum - without a new Lord to take Strahd's place, he main return again regardless. I'm not sure how I know this - perhaps a final taunt from the vampire. All I know for sure is that my vengeance is spent - yet it feels empty.
Session: Stay Alive - Wednesday, Oct 12 2016 from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM
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"Run, run, run, fast as you can. Can't catch me, I'm the:" - Trinia Sabor
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"Tell me your tale, and keep it entertaining." - Devargo Bravasi
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"Why, I certainly could never imagine." - Darvayne Gios Amprei
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