Abandonded Tower and Reunions in Vallaki

The day began again at the vineyard, arguably with (a bit) less hangover than the morning before. Cinnas dance in the fields had some effect and (very initial) signs of new growth could be seen on the fields. Since that party gave back the gem that Keshgar had stolen, Davian was more hopeful in maybe getting back to somewhat normal business at the vineyard. He did however remind the party of the fact that two of three gems are still missing. Davianis fairly sure that Baba Lysaga in Berez has one, and that Urvin is somehow responsible for loosing the other.

As the party had some time to kill (only having to get to Vallaki by the evening), they decided (on Cinnas suggestion) to investigate an Abandoned Tower near Lake Baratok. On the way there, they came across an (unguarded) vagon from Vallaki. After some investigation the party found two guards from Vallaki, supposedly hunting some kind of a large animal. Via some charming and friendly banter from Darren the guards urged the party to “go for the adult”.

Arriving at the tower, the lost travellers did not find it nearly as abandoned as their druidic friend had led them to understand. Instead they found a unmanned vagon on the outside of the tower and the bottom floor looking like someone had very recently moved in, someone who seemed to have a less than positive opinion about Strahd. After a while the identity of this someone was revealed when Ezmerelda D’Avenir rode in with a horse that seemed to be of Vistani origin. After some initial distrust, the party managed to convince her of their honest intentions.

In the ensuring discussion, the party learned that Ezmeralda was an orphaned Vistani girl previously known as Emily. After loosing her parents, she left Barovia to seek out Rudolf van Richten and train under him. Even though the old vampire hunter agreed to train her, he still kept his distance, and never trusted her fully. Their relationship broke off a few years back. At the moment, Richten is in Barovia hiding under the pseudonym Rictavio. Ezmeralda on the other hand is here hunting Strahd, the greatest of the vampires, in the hopes of impressing her old master.

In addition to Ezmeralda herself, the discussion briefly touched upon the amber temple. Apparently, therein might lie the way of ridding Barovia of Strahd and the vampires for good. While this seemed to intrigue some of the party members, for the moment they decided to head back toward Vallaki, so they took farewell of Ezmeralda. Seeing as they would be going past the Vistani camp from which she had… aquired….. the horse, Ezmeralda asked if they could return it. In spite of some protests from Bart, the partys own Vistani member, the travellers agreed to do so.

The travel back to Vallaki was interrupted by an unexpected encounter with a drough merchant called Vasil, a merchant whose wagon they found turned over next to the road to Vallaki. Vasil himself was found almost unconscious uin the nearby bushes. He seemed to come to it fairly quickly and asked the party for a passage back to Vallaki. Somewhat surprisingly, he did not seem that interested in his own wagon or his gear. During the trip back to Vallaki, Vasil was asking suspiciously specific questions from the party. He also told them he had a shop in Vallaki. Even if the location Vasil described seemed reasonable, neither Bart nor Cinna har heard of a store in that particular location. He asked them to look into a shipment from Barovia that apparently had not made its way all the way to Vallaki. The travellers collectively decided, that Vasil was not to be trusted.

Arriving in Vallaki, the party took farewell of Vasil and decided to split up. Darren and Xuza would go to the Vistani camp to return the horse, Bart Marillion and Cinna headed into town to find Goeff and reunite Olivenka with her dad.

Travelling to the Vistani camp Xuza and Darren soon realized, that this Vistani camp was significantly different from the Tser Pools Encampment. This camp is much less well maintained and signs of neglect and decay could be seen everywhere. This camp is lead by the two brothers Luvash and Arigal who at the time of the Darrens and Xuzas arrival were busy punishing another camp member for apparently loosing the horse. Darren and Xuza returned the horse, but were unable to convince Arigal to stop disciplining the poor camp member. They were however able to determine, that the potion for survining in the mists surrounding Barovia that Arigal was trying to sell them, most likely is fake.

Entering Vallaki the three other members of the lost travellers immediately realized something is wrong. There was a lot of unrest in town with mobs of people protesting outside of the Burgeonmasters house and the church. Quite quickly they realized, that the protesters were demanding for the removal of Goeff from town which—according to them—should bring back the supply of pies. Worrying for Goeffs safety Marillion and Bart set off toward the church with the hope of getting him out from there while Cinna turned into a horse and set of to find Darren. With the use of some clever magic and a portable ball of darkness, Goeff was rescued from the church while a—somewhat shaken Ireena Kolyana was left there in the care of Lucian.

The travellers reconvened at the Blue Water Inn where they were met by Urwin who thanked the party for finding Olivenka and granted them free stay at the inn. Given Goeffs relative safety, the party decided to split up and go handle remaining errands. They met the burgeonmaster Vargas Vallakovich who was most displeased with the current situation and strongly urged the party to get out of Vallaki as fast as possible. They also met Jeny, who identified some of the items they had found in their travels and also gave them some ideas for possible substitutes for the—human based—substances of Morganthas pie recipe. Apparently dinosaur bone dust could possible work and, luckily for the party, there might be dinosaurs living in the forests along mount Baratok.

After a very long day, the party lay down for some well-deserved rest at the inn, still hearing the unrest from the outside.