The Ascent

Continued from Melantha’s Fate

Negotiating several traps in the dungeons (with only minor injuries to Boris and Eli, Evan led the group up to the main level of the castle and into the gallery hall. There they found numerous portraits of powerful and influential people throughout the lands. Included in the gallery was a portrait which had an uncanny similarity to Tara Kolyana. Knowing that their goal was in the uppermost spire, the group didn’t linger too long and proceeded up to the next level.

The library’s proved too much of a temptation to Evan and the party waited while he too advantage of this opportunity to research the situation. Aided by the ghostly spirit Erasmus, Evan was able to find information on Azalin (under his true name of Firan Zal’honan), Strahd von Zarovich. While reading these books the significance of Tara’s portrait in the gallery was uncovered, she appeared nearly identical to Tatyana the woman who was to marry Strahd’s brother Sergei.

Feeling they had uncovered as much information as possible, the group traveled up again, this time finding themselves in the halls of magic – a series of rooms dedicated to each of the schools of magic. Evan insisted that he spend some time in the rooms of evocation, abjuration and enchantment in order to possibly gain more information on the phylactery and its defenses. Some of the party suffered more injuries from some of the traps, but nothing serious and Evan was able to gain useful information.

In the room of divination, Evan was able to scry on the castle and learned much of the dangers they would face on their journey upwards – banshees, spirits, and beasts which dwell in shadows. Their first challenge was Kazandra another vampire named Aquinas and a host of their thralls which they gained control over by allowing them to drink vampire blood.

Seeing little chance for the entire group to sneak past the coven, a direct attack was launched. Boris, Melantha and Kira lead the charge after Eli moved into the shadows. While empowered by the vampire blood, the thralls began to fall quickly, with Evan and Lydis supporting their friends. Lydis drew the attention of Kazandra and Evan briefly dueled with Aquinas while the thralls were finished off. Eventually the pair of vampires were overcome and escaped. A secret chamber was purposely left open by Kazandra as she fled. Within the chamber the coffin of Aquinis was discovered and the vampire was staked by Boris.

The party took a short rest before proceeding further.

The Ascent

Upon a pale horse... (The Mists of Ravenloft) tarokka