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Darth Paul
Posted by the GM
Curse of Strahd
Chapter 17: Return to the Bonegrinder
The heroes had begun their descent down Tsolenka Pass, the treasures looted from the Amber Temple in tow in an old, bronze chariot they had found there. The wood, stone, and iron construct Caxius had found and assumed control of hauled the loot, while Evan and the tiefling warlock rode in the vehicle. Nearing the bridge which spanned a wide gorge plunging fully 500 feet to the river below, they saw the shadow of giant wings overhead. It was a monstrous vulture, bigger than a farmhouse! Verity had heard a couple of drunken Barovians tell a tale of a great titan, who stole the secret of fire from Morninglord, and been chained to Mount Baratok to have his heart torn out by a great vulture every night at dusk. The bard didn't know if the tale were true, but the huge beast was real enough.

It swooped down, and would've sliced Kyne in half with its beak if the pale, mask-wearing rogue had been a whit slower. Merely slashed, he staggered back as Volta and Shokk were swept up by its talons. Thinking fast, Verity used a charm to create a pattern of shifting lights in the vulture's path. Hypnotically enthralled, the great bird's flight stalled and it crashed into the opposite wall of the gorge and then plunged into the river below, Shokk and Volta in tow. The two half-orc warriors managed to let the great beast take the brunt of the impact, and dodging its talons as it attempted to take wing, cut it down with axe and greatsword. Caxius used his magical gifts to jaunt down to them, then grant Shokk the ability to scale the cliff like a spider, hauling he and Volta up thanks to his great strength.

The giant vulture swooped down, its wings like the shadow of death falling over the party....

The group opted to return to Kresk, and spoke briefly with the burgomaster and rest for the night. They decided to forgo confronting the Abbot, despite the reading they had received from Madame Eva a couple of weeks ago, feeling that Clovin Belview was not yet needed. They headed back towards Vallaki, and were ambushed by a group of Vistani cutthroats led by none other than Arrigal! The sly assassin had some endgame in mind as he tried to kill Kyne and steal the glowing blade the rogue carried. But the group turned the tables and dispatched the Vistani once and for all.

The road to Vallaki was clear after that, and the heroes rested there only briefly before pressing on to the Bonegrinder, the old windmill that Kyne had found the deed to long ago. The home of the hags who had been grinding up children for their dream pies. And the heroes had come back to end their evil. The way was fraught with some peril, as they were attacked by a pack of ghostly wolves. But the heroes made it there with little delay.

The place was as decrepit as they remembered, through there were now three goats outside, munching contentedly on the pale grass. The heroes were cautious, but were still caught off-guard as an eight-foot-tall figure stepped out of the woods unseen and nearly took Verity down with a swipe of his axe! It was the "nephew" the heroes had fought - and killed - before. As that happened, Caxius approached one of the goats, which promptly charged him. As it did, it transformed into a goat-headed, hunched humanoid that pulled a long, heavy branch off a nearby tree. The two others transformed, and battle was joined on all sides. In the end a blow from Volta's axe hooked the sack-like hood covering "nephew's" face, revealing a monstrous zombie, lips and eyes stitched together, an instant before that same axe took its head from its shoulders. The three demons fell as well, and the heroes moved into the mill.

The Bonegrinder....

They were caught off guard as a blast of lightning ripped through them, and a hag with warty green skin appeared. Another, more than 7 feet tall herself, appeared behind Shokk as he went up the stairs and grabbed him with iron-hard arms. The last, familiar for her dark purple skin and horrid features, appeared from nowhere and blasted the group with more dark magic. The coven of hags had made their presence known, and the heroes were in trouble. But they swiftly turned the tides! Shokk even managed to leap out a second story window and tackle Morgantha as she flew outside the tower! With her two daughters slain, she vanished, vowing revenge. The heroes opted to head to the standing stones nearby, and rested the night there.

Of course, the night did not pass quietly, as they were attacked by a single revenant - the head of the Order of the Silver Dragon had come back for his sword. Of course he now wore the body of a teenage girl, clad in scraps of rusty mail and wielding a notched and rusted greatsword nearly as big as his new frame. But Shokk met the dead thing head on, and managed to drop him low once more. But it was only a matter of time before he came back...
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Tags: Boss Battle , Recap