As told by Pike Lynn Clover
13th of Elient
We were trapped in the mill, the BoneGrinder, with the door barred downstairs. Peeking out the window it's really starting to get dark outside but we see a figure approaching us. Whoever it is it's one very large man, and he’s heading for the door. Suddenly there are three heavy thuds and we can hear the door starting to crack as the cart leaned up towards it shifts with each thud.
With Ezra holding the door she is obviously the kind of woman who would answer a knock with a knock and furiously bangs on the door from the other side. The man outside hesitates then answers with a single thud and a voice demanding the Tiefling.
A few words are exchanged but there's no way to reason with him. Where did he even come from?! Trouble just keeps following us and he starts breaking down the door. Ezra in her eagerness I suppose, starts breaking down the door from the other side and eventually punches him through it! She gets caught in the door and after some struggle is pulled through the door by the stranger.
Chaos ensues and there is a mad skirmish following. Having made sure that Ismaark and Ireena is barricaded higher up in the mill, Orzen starts throwing bolts of dark energy from a window higher up while Trif directs moonlight to sear the flesh from his bones. Ezra is fighting for her life as the two humanoid giants that they are clash with their fists. In all of this I’m cursing my broken leg as I can’t even get out through the Ezra-sized hole in the door.
What feels like an eternity passes. Ezra is unconscious, Trif is at the brink of death while me and Orzen finally brought down our foe. A strange dark liquid escapes him as it gathers up and streams off into the air. Whatever he was, he was clearly not human. With Trif and her healing abilities out cold, but alive, we have to hold up in the Bonegrinder and wait for both her and Ezra to wake up.
Day 14 of the Fading
With everyone bruised and battered we set of to search for Ismaark and Ireena the following day as they seemingly snuck out the back while climbing down a rope from the mill. While tracking them we find four monoliths spread out in a crescent moon shape, each depicting a city of great detail in one of the four seasons. Orzen investigates while Ezra reveals the possession of a spinning top similar to the monoliths, maybe explains her origin and how she ended up here. We don’t have the time and we need to move on, the monoliths ain’t going anywhere but Ismaark and Ireena are.
In the woods just beyond we find a clearing with a great tree in the middle, large shapes hanging from it. The kids from the mill were all hanging by the neck, but Ismaark was hung by one of his feet and arms tied behind his back depicting the ‘Hanged Man’, the bodies having druidic writings carved into them. There has been no sign of Ireena.
By day or night, stretching up
to the limits of vision, the edges of my
realm are marked by a great wall of
mist. I was there at his birth
and his name was Strahd von Zarovich.
As we venture on from the clearing heading north we once again come upon the Old Svalich Road in front of Lake Zarovich, with a quick stop for refilling our water. I believe Orzen saw something around the lake as he was acting a bit strange, I feel he's sometimes keeping things from us, but no time to confront him about that now. We continue west toward our original destination of Vallaki, with Ismaark dead we hope that Ireena still might’ve reached Vallaki, and we're in sore need of a safe haven.