Pointer-left Star-wars-episode3-darth-vader_thumb
Darth Paul
Posted by the GM
Curse of Strahd
Chapter 6: Argynvostholt
The heroes left St. Andral's Church early the next morning. Father Lucian told them that things had been quiet since his sermon last night, but they had best leave early to avoid any conflicts. What townsfolk were up at the early hour hastily changed direction as the heroes passed. The gate guards let them through with no protest, though their mute, sullen faces gave them suspicious glares. By the time the sun had risen behind the dark clouds, they were headed west on the Old Svalich Road. They made their way to the switchback trail that led southeast to the so-called haunted mansion they had heard of without incident. Rumor had it that an order of knights led by a dragon had once called it home, and the reading given to them by Madam Eva said that a powerful weapon against Strahd would be found in the house of the dragon.

The trail led steeply upward, through mist-shrouded woods. The heroes as it turned out, were not here alone. Four of the wild hillfolk jumped out from hiding. Their skins were covered with clay and bits of brush, and they caught the heroes by surprise. They roared a savage battle cry, and attacked with their stone-bladed axes. The berserkers were fierce foes, but the heroes made a swift end of them. After cleaning up and tending to their wounds, they reached the abandoned chateau.

The statue stood like a mute sentinel.

The mansion's southern third had collapsed, and the rest of the massive stone edifice was in bad repair. As they approached the flagstone steps up to the main doors, they circled a huge statue of a silver dragon on a stone perch. There was no sign of life or traps in the carved stone, but as they reached the top of the steps, its mouth opened and a blast of cold air made their hair stand on end. There were no other surprises, and the heroes entered the great mansion. A single word was carved above the door, on the stone lintel: ARGYNVOSTHOLT.

Beyond the door was a great hall, with a massive stair leading up to a second-story balcony running along both sides of the hall. Doors led off of each side, six in all. As Caxius, Evan, Shokk, Verity, and Volta went to the north side of the hall, Cira and Lupin went south. The first group found an abandoned suite, a few tower rooms, and a kitchen in bad repair. The second group found a nest of giant spiders, each nearly the size of a pony! They rushed back to help their comrades, and it was close thing. Thick webs, like gray ropes, clung to Cira and Lupin, and a few painful, swollen bites could be seen on their flesh. But magic and steel slew the last of the fell beasts.

With trepidation, the heroes made their way back through a ruined dining hall, and to a small chapel beyond. Doors with large, stained glass windows led into the place. A broken window along one of the chapel's sides let fog spill in from the small graveyard on the north side of the manor house. A trio of figures in rusty mail knelt before the altar of the Morninglord.

[I]The revenant knights of the Silver Dragon were angered by the heroes' intrusion...[/I]

They rose and turned as the heroes entered, and one spoke with a voice that was cold, sepulchral, and hollow as an open tomb. "You do not belong here. You will die for this trespass!" The trio moved forward with rusty blades, and the heroes barely withstood their onslaught. Cira recognized them as revenants, and knew that they were in trouble. Lupin rained blows on one, which it shrugged off with ease, it's dead flesh knitting shut where he had stabbed the undead warrior. Shokk and Volta hewed at them with their axes, but the trio refused to fall easily. Cira and Evan blasted them with radiant light, while Verity rained down crossbow bolts and fiery spells and Kyne darted in and out, his silver daggers flashing.

One by one, the revenants fell, burning thanks to Evan and Verity. As their corpses smoldered, Cira tended to the serious wounds that Lupin, Volta, and Shokk had all taken. They decided to bandage up, clear the ground floor, and rest. A brief exploration of the chapel's balcony and a couple of rooms on the upper floor revealed nothing - except a bust, cloaked in illusion, that appeared to be Kyne's severed head! Caxius led a small group outside to search the mist-shrouded cemetery and the large, marble mausoleum outside. They slid its stone door open, and the hollow crypt was empty. A couplet in draconic was carved into one wall, and Caxius used his dark-given gifts to translate it. Apparently, this was the resting place of the silver dragon Argynvost. The same silver dragon that apparently founded this order of knights. Its bones were not present, and this worried the heroes.

Savid, the dusk elf scout. He had seen much in his four centuries, but even he was scared of what lay in these walls.

As they cleared the lower floor, they found an elf with dusky skin and dark hair hiding in a wine storage room. He introduced himself as Savid, and said he'd come here searching for a Vistani girl who'd gone missing from the camp outside Vallaki. He and his people had come to the valley of Barovia centuries ago. Strahd had conquered their homeland, and they were among the few that remained. They were forced to serve the Vistani. He had been wounded, and the heroes patched him up. He revealed that the dragon had indeed founded this knightly order, the Order of the Silver Dragon, and that they had fallen in battle with Strahd. The dark lord himself had slain the silver dragon. Its ghost was said to haunt these ruins. The heroes and their new friend made their way back to one of the tower rooms, barred the door, and rested fitfully until night fall. The rest of Argynvystholt awaited....

Viewable by: Public