Skirmish at Yester Hill

The day started at Wizzard of Wines under the care of the Martikov family. The party arose with varying amounts of hangover from the previous nights festivities. After a hearty breakfast prepared by Stefania and Xuza, the party was ready to set off south toward Yester Hill.

On the way the party was visited by Strahd, flying in on a horse very similar to the rocking horse that had been in one of the rooms at the vineyard. After some chit chat Strahd gifted Darren with a very nice whetstone which Darren immediately tried on his sword and found that it made the sword significantly sharper than what he had before.

Continuing their travel, Bob (short for Bobrikov)—the druid they had captured the day before—seemed flabbergasted over having met Strahd and that Strahd had not immediately killed them. Before long they arrived at Yester hill with Bon still securely sitting in his wine barrel. The lost travelers were met with a scene more sinister then what they had expected. They walked in on some form of a ritual. Olivenka Martikov, Urvins daughter was being held hostage by Keshgar the blood druid. The party found her being coerced to watch the Gulthias tree consume Claudiu (Stefanias son) snd send his life force toward an effigy of Strahd. Closing in on the scene the party also suddenly heard a voice in their head, a voice very keen on stopping the druids with violence. The voice seemed to especially target Darren.

With an invisible warlock and a charmed prisoner the party approached Keshgar with the aim of (at least trying) of negotiating a peaceful solution. They were met with a desperate plea from Olivenka asking them to save Claudiu, a plea resulting in a swift slap in the face from Keshgar. With negotiations turning sour, a battle broke out. The party was challenged not only by the formidable might of Keshgar, but also by the large distance between the effigy and the Gulthias tree as well as the other druids performing the ritual. However, with clever use of magic in order to make movement (considerably harder), set fire to tree-like structures and save the innocent people, the party prevailed in both laying Keshgar to rest, and saving the life of both Olivenka and (the considerable worse off) Claudiu. During the battle, Darren had freed a spear (that evidently was tha source of the spiritual voice) from the effigy. The spear proved itself to be a formidable weapon, allowing Darren to deal some serious damage.

The party’s victory was short lived by a realization that their new “friend” Bob, the druid had managed to escape during the battle Also, the rest of the inhabitants of Yester Hill (namely, barbarians) coming out from their caves to find their altar currently on fire. Seeing as the party had already taken quite a beating they opted for a tactical retreat back to the vineyard. When arriving the party told Davian what happened, he promised to send scouts to monitor the development in order to not let the berserker situation. He also agreed to gift the party with 4 barrels of wine as thanks for their services.

Finally, the part agreed to head back toward Vallaki in order to make it to the tournament, the next day. They decided to take Olivenka with them in the hopes of gaining Urvins good graces, even if they were unable (so far) to secure information from the house of the dragon.