SESSION FOUR – Fortune’s Favours
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.
Uncertain of how long Artem has been missing, Lucian looks around and spots her exiting a large tent near the shore of the lake. When she rejoins the group, she informs them that Madame Eva wishes to speak with all of them.
The group follows her away from the campfire and into the tent by the shore. The inside of the tent is warm from candles, lit in spite of the early hour. Madame Eva watches with keen eyes as she gestures for them to sit down, telling them that she has waited for them to arrive.
First she speaks to Izi, calling her by her full name Isilomë Estelcálë. She says that she sees that Izi has been pushed into the world and that she keeps seeking familiar places for comfort, of which she will find none in Barovia. Madame Eva then turns to Wynne, saying that she knows that she once helped a vistana. She says that Barovia will try and speak to Wynne and that they want the same thing – a way out. She also warns her to be mindful of her future actions. To Asha she speaks of a past of violence, but also of empathy. She tells her not to forget why she started wandering again. Lastly, she turns to Lucian who has grown increasingly uncomfortable. Madame Eva tells him that she knows of his internal battle and that he is afraid, but that he should not be fighting alone.
In the stunned silence that follows, says that the only way to escape Barovia is to loosen the vampire’s grip on the lands. Either by defeat or capitulation. She will tell their futures, but only if they make the decision together, as their fortune is intertwined. The group agrees to these conditions and Madame Eva draws five cards. She tells them of treasures to be found in a town where all is not well, in a house guarded by a stone dragon, and behind a set of amber doors. Turning yet another card, she tells them that they will be able to find the great evil in the one place to which it must return. The last card appears blank, but she hands it to Artem, telling her that when the time is right the card will tell her of one who will aid them all in the battle.
Still seated at Madame Eva’s, Artem suggests that they all go back to the Village of Barovia and search the Burgomaster’s library for clues that can bring clarity to the fortunes. She asks Madame Eva if it is safe to return to the village and Madame Eva responds that Barovia is never safe.
The group take their leave from Madame Eva and the Vistani at the camp, heading back the way they came. At the Burgomaster’s mansion Izi goes to speak with the animals outside while the rest return to the parlor. Artem goes to speak with her brother in the kitchen, telling him of the day’s events.
Later, Artem enlists the help of Lucian and Izi to search the library, but to no avail. Frederyk points out a passage about an order of a dragon in a book that mentions a long since fallen bastion. Artem tells the others that she knows of this place, but not where it is located.
The party eat dinner and discuss their future plans. Artem suggests they head to a town called Vallaki, as she believes this to be the town where all is not well.
While Artem is doing the dishes, Frederyk tells the rest of the group that they need to be safe. When Lucian promises to keep Artem safe, Frederyk tells him that keeping her safe isn’t the issue. Only staying safe for all of them will keep their odds in favour of survival. Wynne informs Frederyk that Artem might die, and Frederyk replies that he is very aware.
After serving them all wine, Frederyk tells them that some consider this to be the lifeblood of the Barovian people. Wynne is mildly disgusted at this, amusing Frederyk greatly. He explains that Barovians drink to good health and fortune, be it good or bad. Lucian says that so far they have been successful in that “No one has died.” just as Artem enters and responds “Yet.”
During the night, the group is haunted by unsettling dreams.
The next morning, the Vasilyov-siblings say goodbye on the front porch and Frederyk leaves Artem their father’s signet ring.
The gloomy morning makes way to a just as grey day as the group travels into the Barovian landscape. They cross a large stone bridge and trek through mountains. Eventually they come upon a forest, where Wynne and Lucian spot something in one of the trees. It is a leather bundle which on closer inspection contains a set of simple clothing. Not sure what to make of this discovery, they choose to wrap it back up and put it back as it were.
As they near the edge of the forest it starts to rain, cold and heavy and unrelenting. Izi and Wynne wish to seek shelter in a nearby windmill that they can see up on a hill, but Artem insists they press on a few more hours to Vallaki.
Trekking through the rain, by now all soaked to the bone, they appear to be followed by a raven. Izi yells at it in beastspeech, but it doesn’t respond. After a while, a couple more ravens join the first one. Then ten, then twenty. By the time they reach the North Svalich Woods and can see Lake Zarovich they are followed by closer to fifty ravens.
Vallaki is close ahead and Artem tells them to hurry toward the town. They are greeted by several wolf heads on pikes standing watch along the road up to the gate. The sight of the heads greatly upsets Wynne.
At the gates, Artem introduces herself as sister of the Burgomaster of Barovia, and identifies herself with the signet ring. She says she wishes to meet with the Burgomaster, but because of the evening hour, the guards refer them to go and wait at the town’s inn. They are let through the gates even though the guards seem sceptical about the group of adventurers following Artem into the town.
On their march through Vallaki they pass a stockyard and a town square with prisoners in stocks, as well as the remnants of a festival called “The Wolf’s Head Jamboree.” Reaching an inn, Wynne notices several ravens on top of it. She asks what it means, but no one in the group can give her a good answer.
They enter, and Lucian walks up to the woman behind the bar and asks for beds for the night. The woman introduces herself as Danika and hands them keys to two guestrooms. Meanwhile, it becomes clear that everyone in the taproom is staring at the newcomers.
And that is where we ended our session.