Thursday, 7 June 2018

Ravenloft VIII

The Revenge of the Sidhe (6th June 2018)
Doubling Annabella (Day 9 - continued)

On second thoughts, maybe the big beast-like hand contained within the glass case in the chest was not Kaga Ra’s hand after all. Anyway, we divvied up the treasures as we deemed fairest, discussed what we were going to do next, and headed back to the surface only to find Annabella plunging her sword into Gur, Millie’s bear familiar.

I pushed Annabella away from Gur with a Gust of Wind so that she could do no more damage and allowed the rest of the party to deal with her whilst she was incapacitated. Brother Bertrand noticed another body on the ground which had been badly mauled. He put two and two together and realised that Annabella was not who she said she was. Grumbold, with a bit of divine intervention made sure it was not her before hacking her apart alongside a maddened Millie. It turned out that a couple of doppelgangers had turned up; Annabella had been “copied” before she ran away, and then they had tried to kill Gur. We had arrived back just in time to save the pair of them. Annabella emerged from the woods once the action was over. Unfortunately, this means I no longer have any trust for Annabella; she ran out on us even though she has ways of defending herself.

Journey to the village of Yarn (Days 10-13)

After we had pieced the story together about Annabella and the doppelgangers we headed out at double-time for the village of Yarn; we wanted to get there and a few other locations and then back to Pureforge before the month was out to save the baby that was due to be born then and most likely sacrificed to whatever lurked beneath the common hall there.

The journey was hard and fast, with each night’s sleep haunted by nightmare visions. Many of us were affected and left exhausted by our nightly experiences. During the early hours on a couple of the nights the banshees from the dungeon returned. They even made it into my protective little hut. I conversed with the Book of Knowledge (the book I picked up on the “beach” several days ago) on how to stop these incursions and how to halt the reappearance of the banshees even though we had destroyed them several times now. The answer was to dispose of anything that might belong to them. We had picked up a couple of non-magical trinkets (a necklace and ring) back in the dungeon from the banshee’s room. We took these away and buried them in a desolate spot in a wood, out of harm’s way.

As an aside, I had learned a new spell whilst travelling. I put it to good use by removing the curse that affected Brother Bertrand and his use of that suspicious looking dagger he had picked up. I dropped that item in the long grass too. He hasn’t asked after it, so presumably he is OK with one of his friends ridding him of the item?

Around tea time we arrived at a small copse just shy of the village of Yarn. Just before cresting the final hill we spotted a covered waggon accompanied by a couple of what looked like dead bodies. Millie spotted the draft horse and proceeded to calm it down before re-attaching it to the waggon. The rest of us investigated the waggon and the bodies. One of them was still alive, a dwarf drover, who warned us about the woman in the cage at the back of the waggon. We took a look and saw that there was indeed a woman in there that began to mock us and imitate our voices and mannerisms as soon as she saw us. She then suddenly lunged at Grumbold to ensnare him in her wily clutches. Luckily Malfeseus was on the ball and stuck her with an arrow from his newly found magical bow. That quietened her down. We spoke to the dwarf drover as he breathed his last and warned us of the witch he was tasked to transport to Pureforge for questioning – apparently she held the answers to the witch incursions. He was hoping that the pureness of that town would cleanse Ravenloft of her presence. We didn’t have the heart to tell him about our experiences there.

We buried the two drovers and carried on towards Yarn where we met the charming Mrs. Ashford who was tending her not so healthy garden in a most dreary and unkempt corner of the equally dingy village. Grumbold advanced to speak to her but even though I was only a few feet away, I could no longer hear their conversation. Eventually the party decided to join Grumbold and found we crossed a threshold into a beautiful village scene, with plentiful crops and countryside charm; so different to the dilapidated run-down appearance we were greeted with upon arrival.

Mrs Ashford told us about the coming carnival and fair upon the morrow, and mentioned that the witch we had in the waggon would be most welcome to join the festivities on the end of a ducking stool or in the stocks.

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