-The Burgomaster’s Mansion
Razzle Frazz almost forgets about the others that aren’t with the main group as he recalls what Deckard was doing during that time before they got to the coffin maker’s home. “Deckard had a hard choice to make that day that changed his entire view on the undead.”
Earlier in the day Deckard is able to resurrect his animal companion with the new party gold from the Vistani. However, Tornado has changed, it is now a zombie cat! Deckard decides to accept his companion as is and realizes that maybe not all undead are evil.
Back at the coffnmaker’s home, Ghrakis chases after Henrik. Meanwhile, the rest of the party is attacked by six vampire spawn who have holed up in the coffin maker’s home. Ismark holds his own for the first time as he drunkenly strikes down with fury on the undead with his fists. Even Zombie Tornado is able to help once Deckard calls it to his aid. However, the fight is too deadly; realizing they must escape immediately with the bones, the party is able to fend off some of the undead, call for help from the local militia and run away. The vampires retreat as well while Izek arrives with a retinue of guards and proceeds to burn down Henrik’s home.
While escaping, some of the party meets Baron Vargas Vallakovich, Burgomaster of Vallaki. He invites them into his home to help and says that Izek and his guards will take care of their problem. “All will be well!” as he says.
Breath of Wind and Shep take the bones back to the church of St. Andral to restore the crypt, but they don’t realize that they are being followed by one of the vampire spawn that attacked them earlier. The vampire tries to take the bag of bones and runs away but somehow the two followers of the Raven Queen are able to destroy the evil undead. But in the process, Wind uses a different weapon than what his glove had given him and in turn his hand begins to be devoured from the inside by the glove itself, screaming within his mind of his folly for using an inferior weapon. They return the bones, Father Lucian is thankful and performs the ritual to the Morninglord. He says these are holy grounds once again. Those two sleep the night there, peacefully.
The others get to know the burgomaster who assures them that Izek will take care of the vampires. He invites them to stay the night and they do so. They hear strange noises coming from the attic during the night as well. The next morning, during breakfast, the baron and his family are introduced to everyone. Vargas tells them he is worried about his upcoming festival of the Blazing Sun and not having the wine needed for the celebration that is to happen tomorrow afternoon. The party agrees to go to the Wizards of Wine Vineyard not far from here to see what happened to the recent delayed wine delivery in return for various prizes they each ask for. He asks they need to make it back by tomorrow morning. Before leaving, the whole party meets up at the burgomaster’s home. Izek is also there having breakfast and for some reason is eyeing up Ireena a lot and is even cordial to her (unlike the others). Ghrakis mentions that Izek took Henrik and put him in the stocks for colluding with the “Devil.”
As they leave the mansion, Shep bumps into a young man (maybe 16) who seems to be in his own world and harsh with Shep. The maid says that’s Victor, Vargas and Lydia’s son, who locks himself in the attic all the time. Shep, interested in what the young man has (and a bit ticked at how rude he was), uses his raven to look up in the attic window to see what Victor is hiding. There he sees a few skeletal cats lounging about (mysterious magic is afoot!) and 3 children standing in the corner of the attic room which is covered with various books on a table.
Shep notices something else: when almost at the inn to gather the group and the wagon from the Martikov family, the boy notices that they are being followed by a strange man with a sword, hand crossbow and dark hood. Shep confronts the man in an alley alone and tries to figure out who he is by talking to him while invisible. The man, surprised by Shep’s magic, sneers at him and leaves. Shep follows the man to a house on the other side of town and the man just laughs at the boy as he goes inside. Shep inscribes an eye on the fence post next to the house to convey that “he’ll be watching him.”
The group gathers to leave and before they hit the road, Senna returns (after being gone for the past 30 some hours), a bit frazzled, but not harmed. She says, “Don’t ask,” and proceeds to change into her travel clothes and armor and joins the group as they travel southwest out of town towards the winery. On the way, Shep reveals that he has an old map of Barovia in his belongings (though it is a bit sparse with names on it). As they come to a fork in the road and find a sign that says “Southeast: Berez,” Shep has a sense of home and belonging as he looks down that road towards Berez; he ignores the feeling for now. As they continue, the group is also attacked by strange little creatures made of wood along with a howling human druid who casts destructive magic at them. Before they vanquish them, the strange man yells, “IT’S GOING TO RAIN! HAHAHA!” What’s eerie is that he’s right, it begins to drizzle as they arrive at the front of the Wizard of Wines Winery an hour later.