Benvolio Gallipoli, exiled from the Feywild, chronicles his mist-adventures in the land of Barovia in this new D&D blog series.
The Ballad of Benvolio Gallipoli – Session 2 – The Death House
This is Hell. My body is still wracked with pain, the scars from the zombie attack itch. Yet I, Benvolio Gallipoli, live. This mist, that won’t let us leave these woods, that returned my spirit to my broken body. This mist, that snatched the one fleeting second of peace I felt as I left this mortal coil and is forcing me to continue on. Can I cry? I don’t know. I should be crying, but my sadness is overwhelmed by rage. The anger I have been holding inside has boiled up to the surface. All I can think about are the Lycan Alpha that slayed my wife and child. I know he’s in the Feywild, far from where ever we are right now. I know I should be focusing on my current situation, on my two strange companions as we follow the road. The only path this horrid mist will allow us to travel. My fists clenched, I continue down this path but I can’t keep my heart from pounding in my chest. Xerox the goblin keeps calling to me from up the road, I think he’s spotted something. The wizard (what was his/her name again?) has been staying close, eyes locked on me expecting me to turn on them. That’s a good idea. Who knows what is wrong with me, if I fully lose control I’d prefer to be put down before I do any harm to them. They didn’t ask for this. Then a sound over by Xerox: a little girl crying!
I ran full speed toward the sound. I know it can’t possibly be my little girl, but my emotions are ramped up so much it’s hard to control my impulses. If front of Xerox I see two kids. A ten year old boy and a five year old girl. Their clothes look a bit on the fancy side but they are tattered and filthy. “Please help us! Our Mommy and Daddy are still inside! The monster is going to kill them!”. I look around, the mist seems to have backed off a bit revealing an abandoned, ruined village. A few houses still stand but are busted up pretty bad, no way anyone actually lives in them. All except one house, a nice sized house, practically mansion sized just up the street. It’s in perfect condition. I turn back to see where the wizard is, just in time to see him/her (I really should ask what pronouns to use) fire a bolt of fire at the kids. It flies right thru them! “I told you! Ghosts! Stop arguing with me!”. Xerox and I look at each other, neither of us were arguing with the wizard. He/she went back to arguing with his/her self, all Xerox and I could get out of these spirit children is the same shtick about a monster in their house. The three of us agree to avoid this house at all costs, this isn’t our problem. Unfortunately the mist has other plans. It quickly starts to build up again, leading us straight to the house’s front door. As I walked up to the door, I couldn’t contain my anger. “GODDAMN YOU MIST! WHERE ARE THE LYCANS! WHY CAN’T i BE WITH MY FAMILY? WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME!” My companions don’t seem to care about my ramblings, hell the wizard has been speaking to imaginary friends this whole time. Xerox was a bit disappointed that those kids were ghosts, I think they were the first Humans he’d ever met that weren’t afraid of him. As we entered the house WHOOSH another bolt of fire strikes a coat rack in the foyer of the house. It breaks apart from the heat, the small pieces still burning.
As we exit the foyer into the main chamber, yet another surprise: a large, armored Half Orc standing at the foot of the main staircase. As we entered the chamber, he spun around and drew his sword. “Unholy beasts! Free the souls of those innocent children and prepare to taste the blade of Rhondavarr!”. Terrific, a damn Paladin. It took some time to convince him we weren’t his quarry. Having a goblin standing next to you, and a wizard right behind you saying “let’s just cook him alive and move on!” makes for a hard sell. I think he knew taking all three of us on wouldn’t go his way, so he agreed to investigate the house with us. We weren’t too keen on even bothering with the place, but as we tried to leave we found the door was sealed shut. I ran to the nearest window, opened it but found the entire house surrounded by mist. “GODDAMN YOU MIST, LET US OUT AND SHOW ME THE LYCANS!” I screamed into the ether, nothing responded. Why I I scream that? The Alpha is in the Feywild, I know this. My fury and lack of focus is irrational. Whatever second chance I’ve been give, I am clearly going to waste it if I blindly act on my impulses. What did the mist do to me? “WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME MIST?” I screamed out the window again. Rhondavarr kept an eye on me as we looked around the house. I couldn’t blame him.
The first room we found was the dining room. The table was set with some nice silver goblets and a large candelabra in the center. Xerox grabbed the goblets, the wizard snatched up all the silver knives. My attention was drawn to the curtains, they were a beautiful red satin. The way the color shimmered a little in the candlelight reminded me of my wife, red was her favorite color. Her wedding dress was a red satin. As I pulled the curtains down and folded them into my pack the others were clearly about to ask why, so I quickly opened the window and screamed “GODDAMN YOU MIST!” to throw the off. As we moved on, I grabbed a few silver spoons, without an enchanted sword, having some silver will come in handy when I face the Alpha. If I can find a blacksmith I can maybe have some arrows for my crossbow tipped with the silver. The next room in the house was the kitchen. Clearly hadn’t been used in a long time but was very clean. Xerox climbed into the dumbwaiter and went up, the rest of us kept searching around the house. Nothing but storage rooms and closets left on the first floor so we went up the stairs.
The second floor opened up into a large hallway with suits of armor on each side. I immediately trashed both suits, had to make sure they weren’t going to start moving around on their own and kill us. Looked like this floor was was just filled with personal effects, I spent some time studying a really nice painting of a family. They look happy. What the hell happened here? That’s when I heard the wizard shout out to me they found a secret room, they need me to try and unlock a small chest they found there. It was less a secret room, more a secret closet. Just some goomy, gothic decorations around a small alter. Inside the chest was a few gold and a letter. Something about a cult these people were involved in that was a fraud. The letter was basically a threat to keep things quiet and don’t get too full of themselves or “I will expose you, then slaughter you”. It was signed by someone named Strahd. None of us had heard the name before. Maybe he knows how to get us home.
On the next floor, things got real pretty fast. A single suit of armor, on display just like downstairs charged right at us. It took a little time but we got it under control. Took a few hits from it, Rhondavarr gave me some of his holy healing. I resisted at first but it’s pretty clear we won’t survive without having each other’s backs. That’s when I remembered Xerox, still somewhere in the dumbwaiter all alone. I found him in the master bedroom, just as he managed to open the dumbwaiter from the inside. He was a little spooked but in good shape. There was a creepy mirror in the room, I could have sworn my face looked very old in the reflection. I blinked and looked normal again. Man this place is creepy as hell. All the windows were open, the house is still covered in the mist. Even this high up. The wizard found another secret door behind the bathroom that leads to a staircase going up to yet another floor. We took a few minutes to catch our breath, re-searched this floor to make sure nothing eas left behind that would want to kill us and went up the stairs…….
Catch up on all of Benvolio Gallipoli’s mist-adventures here.