Ravenloft Campaign: the Last Dance (session 1)

And so it begins …

November 28th through 30th, 755 BC, Pont-A-Museau, Richemulot

Over the course these days, our heroes (setup and party member details here) reached Pont-a-Museau and headed to Jerretiere independent of each other, other than Drew and Elaine who traveled together from their hamlet in Mordent.  At the front gates of Jerretiere, a former dance studio, a tall gaunt older man named Graves met them, but wouldn't let them into the estate until the wedding day on the first of the next month.  He gave them money, earmarked for them by their mutual acquaintance Docteur Christophe Lambert, to pay for a few evenings at a local tavern and inn, the Drunken Fool.  

At the tavern, the six all eventually met each other.  They conversed a bit, though none were forthcoming with information about why they were there except the Har’Akir Caliban, who saw no reason to hide that he had been asked to come and officiate the wedding of Docteur Christophe Lambert to his fiancé Madame Araby Tuvache.

October 1st, 755 BC, Pont-A-Museau, Richemulot

Everyone was met at the tavern just before sunset by Graves with his carriage.  Both the Mordent natives were cagey because of it being Nocturne, especially the shaman.  Nthntuck was suspicious of Graves and sat with him upfront after a little protest from the worn driver.  In the carriage, the others all piled in and met Madame Tuvache herself.

She explained how she and Dr. Lambert met and about his love of her first husband’s old dance studio and wanted to have their wedding there.  Also that he had sent out close to twenty invitations, but these six were the only guests to come.  But she was concerned about terrible noises of some kind of monster in the basement.  Vinzent was immediately intrigued at her proposal that all of them check out the basement for some gold, but Drew was incredibly reluctant and eventually the whole thing was dropped.

They arrived at Jerretiere and were brought in to the main hall.  They all sat together with Madame Tuvache.  Drew asked where Dr. Lambert was, but Tuvache blew it off, saying he was looking for the perfect flowers.  "He has a bit of a temper and can be a perfectionisht," she shrugs, and the others agree, especially Violet. Then, a terrible sound from the basement roared up into the main hall.  Tuvache, weeping with fear, once more pleads that they look into it, but this time no one is having it, all unwilling to go down there this evening.  Tuvache then begins to go into hysterics, and in rage over Lambert's insistence of using "this damned old school", she calls off the wedding.

With Vinzent and Elaine both urging they check out the basement, and with Dimitri, Nthntuck, and Violet not arguing against it, Drew gave in not wanting to ruin the wedding.  Nthntuck cast a Sanctuary spell over Madame Tuvache, and Graves escorted them through the game room and the library to the stairs to the basement, stuck back in the servant's quarters.  They head down, Graves leaving to take care of wedding matters.

In the basement, they find just a bare room with only a single armoire.  Vinzent takes a gander, but it merely holds a pretty nice looking clock, but the clock is broken, saying it is 5 til midnight.  A quick look around the room found two locked doors lead to other rooms.  

Drew checked the clock after Vinzent and rolled to commune with the spirits.  He succeeded, hoping to speak with his mother.  Instead he saw a small blue beetle spirit sitting atop the clock with an enlargened thorax and a skull symbol on its back.  He asked the beetle why it was there, and the beetle just clicked; the clock struck midnight.  A small dwarf miniature spun around and began to bang on a blue marble.  One that Drew at that moment noticed was filled with some sort of liquid or gas that was jostling.  He noticed just as it shattered, and he saw hundreds of the blue beetles pour out of the clock, covering the floor and making everyone cough.  Some form of gas had escaped, and was very poisonous.

A few took in a lot of the gas, but it sank to floor level quickly without too much exposure.  They checked the upstairs door only to find it locked.  Vinzent, tired of his charade, threw a bundle of sticks he carried with him to the floor so he could retrieve his hidden rifle.  Of course, this kicked up some of the poison, which he nearly choked and killed himself on.

With the door upstairs being metal, they decided to try to break into the two other doors. Neither of our thieves know how open locks well, and even if they did, neither carried lockpicks.  With some cracks from Dimitri’s hand axe and a shot of the rifle, they break into one of the doors, to find a wine cellar, though mostly empty of wine now.  Just a few centipedes and a chest that served as a rats’ nest, though three bottles were still there.

They bust their way into the next door to find a hallway, with a closet to the right and an unlocked door forward.  Nthntuck went ahead, footman’s mace in hand, as everyone else checked the closet, finding lots of gear including a sword and scale mail.  Nthntuck entered the next room, to find it glowing green with lots of red eyes staring at him.

And this … is where everything went wrong.  These rats, these one-hit-to-kill giant rats, nearly killed two part members, and no one could hit them for the longest time.  To say that our heroes are not combat monsters is an understatement.

Turn starts with Nthntuck casting Sanctuary on himself after the rats all attack him.  3 of the rats run off, and promptly attack the group in the hallway.  As Vinzent gets on one knee to shoot a rat, it launches itself through the air and lands on his face, ripping out a chunk of his cheek and scratching him up, dropping him to Death’s Door, bleeding from his face.  Dimitri pulls his hand crossbow and shoots at the rats now on Vinzent … 

and shoots Vinzent in the shoulder.  Meanwhile, the two rats that made their save drop Nthntuck in one round, ripping open his inner thigh.  Elaine creates a Chromatic Orb and completely wiffs on the roll to hit.  Drew tries in vain to use a sword, as he has no training whatsoever in it and all his weapons and such were left upstairs (he cast Weighty Chest on his belongings, so no one can screw with them, but he didn’t bother to bring them with him). 

Violet used a Beastmark to trick the rats into thinking she is one of them and went into the other room, scaring off the rats feasting on the dying Nthntuck.  Dimitri, abandoning his crossbow, tries to contact the rat that was clawing and biting into Vinzent’s face (who has now taken a permanent loss to Charisma).  And he does … only to roll a 20.  A natural 20 for psionics is BAD NEWS.  His mind does contact the rat, and then a strange purple energy surge happens as the rat kicks Dimitri’s mind out of its and its eyes glow purple before it scurries off, Dimitri completely unable to sense it psionically any longer.

Elaine grabs a shield from the closet and tries to protect Vinzent as Drew continues to slap at the rats in the hallway.  Violet gives up her Beastmark and finally pulls out her sling … and the slaughtering begins.  One sling stone into the head of the rat biting Dimitri.  Next round, more flailing from Elaine and Drew, until Violet kills another with her sling.  The last rat runs, Drew bandages Vinzent to stop the bleeding, and they take a small breather, as session 1 ends.

Session 2 means more exploring of the basement, and trying to find away up and out, plus confronting Graves, who they are sure is responsible.

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