Skirmish with Anastrasya

The night started as any other, with Xuza arising from their meditation after about half of the night had passed. The feeling outside on the streets was still restless, but initially Xuza thought nothing about it. However, suddenly the sounds of protests were exchanged for screams of terror. Upon investigation Xuza found that a tiger had been let free in the streets. Unfortunately that was not even the worst part, the wors part was the hooded stranger the party had seen lurking outside of the church several times heading towards it together with a few evil looking companions, all with their eyes glowing in a red… vampireish hue.

After waking up the lost travellers they all decided that this needed to be dealt with and especially Cinna set off fast toward the party of vampires heading towards the church. The rest of the party followed suit, only to find that the tiger was especially interested in attacking Bart. After fending it off the party gathered at the church to hear Cinna pleas with the leader of the vampires, identified as “Ana”. They learned that Anastrasya was here to find Irena, for some (at least to the rest of the party) unknown reason. Since negotiations quickly failed, the mission to rescue Irena quickly turned aggressive. By some clever use of…. going around the back…. the new items they had found…. and summoning an 8-pack of wolves, the party emerged victorious with only an unconscious druid. The skirmish was interrupted by Strahd Von Zarchovich himself who seemed genuinely concerned with Cinnas wellbeing, even snapping at Xuza for not being able to heal her. When the dust settled, so seemed Strahd, he even extended the party (and Ireena) an invite to Castle Ravenloft in order to have dinner. The night ended with the lost travellers and Ireena reconvening at the Blue Water In in order to agree on what to do next. As Rictavio had made a quick escape from town, there was a room in the inn for Irena to stay.

The next day the party awoke to find that Rictavio had left his journal in his hurry. Upon reading it Xuza learned a great deal of the mans past. After dwelling a bit on this the party decided to run some errands in Vallaki before setting of east toward Castle Ravenloft. First they returned to the church on the behest of Lucian Petrovich (who had bravely survived last nights skirmish by hiding in his room). They learned that Anastrasya had somehow managed to remove the sacred bones from the Cathedral who normally kept the church a vampire (and hag) free-zone. Luckily, a quick trip to the orphanage in order to deal with a demon locket possessing Freek solved that problem. Afterwards Cinna recommended that the party look into some niocer clothes to wear to dinner. Comming back to the Inn they were met by Cassia…. a somewhat odd thiefling who had taken residence at Tser Pools Encampment. Cassia had a message for Bart from Madam Eva, asking him to visit at his earliest convenience. Without any more info Cassia set off back east, followed by the party and Irena a few hours later.

The party made good time travelling, even catching glimpses of Cassia every now and then. However, with half the day spent in Vallaki the distance was too far to get to Ravenloft on the same day. Instead they took up residence at the Old Mill, where they found the grass around the mill slightly more green than last time. They also noted some signs of other people having been there, including sightings of an Imp roaming the forrests around the mill. Tired from an early morning the party decided to go for an early night, while keeping watch in order to make sure that the (increasingly nervous) Irena would not run away,