SESSION FIVE – Water under the bridge
By: Sandra – Twitter
Mistborne Souls is a weekly recap of an ongoing game set in the land of Barovia. While Curse of Strahd lies at its core, the world of Mistborne Souls is a variation of the adventure of my own making.
The group take a seat in the inn. While they wait for dinner to be served they get a good look around the room and at the locals in it. A colourfully dressed half-elf gets up from his chair and leaves the inn. He is the first non-human that most of the group have seen in Barovia. When he gets up, Artem excuses herself from the table, following the stranger outside.
Izi and Lucian have a quiet conversation about what Madame Eva had told them the day before. Izi talks about her past in a town called Hillsfar, where anyone who wasn’t human had been forced to leave. When Izi asks about Lucian’s past he appears to grow uncomfortable so she chooses not to press the issue.
Having finished her food already, Wynne goes over to the bar to speak to Danika. She asks her about the wolf heads outside the town and about the people wearing donkey heads in the stocks. Danika tells her that the wolf heads were a part of a festival but that Vallaki is plagued by wolves and that they try to keep them at bay. She says that wolves in Barovia might not act the way they do where Wynne comes from. Danika also tells her that the people in the stocks are there because they have expressed ‘Malicious Unhappiness’. The idea confuses Wynne, but Danika seems to not wish to elaborate on the subject.
Wynne leaves Danika and walks over to sit near the hunters. As soon as they seem to notice her, she asks them further questions about the wolves, both in Vallaki and in Barovia. When she mentions malicious unhappiness the hunters tell her that happiness is supposed to keep the vampire away. While neither of them have seen the vampire themselves they produce an electrum coin with a man’s profile on it and explain that legend says that this is the face of the vampire. Wynne takes the coin, silently pondering over it.
Outside the building, Artem clears her throat and startles the half-elf man. She tells him her name and explains that she thinks she’s looking for him, a statement that confuses the man. Artem asks if he’s a dusk elf or if he travels with the Vistani. The man shakes her hand and introduces himself as Rictavio but tells her that he has nothing to do with the Vistani and that he is a lone traveller who has ended up in the land. He then excuses himself to go take care of his horse.
After Artem returns to the taproom, a young messenger appears. He tells the group that the Burgomaster will meet with them the following day at noon. Artem seems satisfied with this and gets a bed for the night, sharing a room with Izi and Asha.
Listening in on a conversation between two nobles at a nearby table, Artem approaches them to get an idea of the town at large. She does not get much out of them but they tell her that the next festival is coming up very soon and that the half-elf is in fact a bard who tells stories rather than sings or plays music.
At the other table, Izi abruptly leaves to go to her room. Lucian asks Asha about the past wandering that Madame Eva had mentioned. Asha shares very little of her background and tells Lucian that she is not proud of all of her past actions but that she has changed. Lucian asks her to tell him if she figures out how to fully atone for things one isn’t proud of, and she promises that she will.
As the hour grows later, the group retire to their rooms. While Lucian is taking off his armour Wynne appears to talk to herself. Lucian asks if she’s alright, to which she at first can’t give a clear answer. When she appears to settle down Lucian asks her about the Barovian that Madame Eva had mentioned Wynne meeting before. Wynne tells him that she met a woman who had lost a leg to some beasts in the woods and that she helped ease her pain. She also says that the woman read her future in tarokka cards as a thank you. The cards had seen a great evil and a big struggle in Wynne’s future.
In the next room, Izi, Asha and Artem retire to bed when knock is heard on the window. When Izi goes over to it she sees Geth, a gnome friend of hers. Izi opens the second floor window and Artem draws her rapier. Calling out for her friend, Izi is distressed to find her not there anymore. Artem leans over and closes the window and tells Izi that her friend was never there.
At breakfast, the group asks Danika about a general store, and she tells them that there is one by the stockyard. When Artem says she wants to go to see the priest the group decides to head in the direction of the church before going to the store.
Once they enter the old church, they are greeted by the voice of a young boy. They meet both the priest Father Petrovich, a very kind looking man, and his altar-boy Yeska. He knows Artem by name and apologizes for not yet finding a solution for the priest situation of the Village of Barovia. Artem tells Father Petrovich that she is not here to inquire about that issue and instead says that she needs his help. Sensing her urgency, the priest sends Yeska away on an errand.
In private, the priests explains that the town of Vallaki is corrupt. The Burgomaster appears to genuinely believe that all is well and that the way he runs the town is the best way to go about Vallaki’s problems, although some might take issue with his methods. Father Petrovich does not know what the house of still old ghosts would be, but he tells the group that if they are looking for old knowledge the oldest houses of Vallaki is the Burgomaster’s mansion and Wachterhaus belonging to Vallaki’s second most prominent noble family.
Having considered the idea since the village of Barovia, Lucian asks if the priest knows the Morninglord by any other name but the priest explains that the Morninglord has no mortal name. This appears to lead Lucian to the conclusion that this Barovian god might not be quite the same as his own.
Just as they are getting ready to leave Father Petrovich approaches them and asks them for help with a quest of his own. A relic, the bones of St. Andral, have been stolen from the church and are now missing. The priest fears for the safety of the church without the bones; he tells the group that his best lead is a second employee of the church, a young man named Milivoj.
Lucian agrees to help and Asha cracks her knuckles.
And that is where we ended our session.