SESSION SIX – Means to an end
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.
It doesn’t take long for the group to find Milivoj in the graveyard where he is still digging up weeds from a grave. Lucian approaches the young man and introduces himself. He says that they were asked to investigate the missing relic and asks Milivoj when they noticed the bones were missing, if someone had told him about them beforehand, and which people come to visit the church. Milivoj appears uncomfortable with the interrogation but answers the questions nonetheless. He tells the group that the bones were discovered gone during daytime and that the church serves as a shelter for Vallakians at night. But in the end, he claims to not know much else about the situation.
Lucian and Asha remain suspicious but leave Milivoj alone. Izi uses magic to loosen the earth around the weeds to make his job easier. Artem lingers as well kneeling down before quietly saying that she thinks that he is lying and that St: Andral stands for truthfulness. The young man gives in and admits to stealing the bones after telling the coffin maker Henrik van der Voort about them. Henrik offered to pay him a large sum of money and Milivoj says that he needed it to take care of his family. When Artem thanks him for telling her about it and turns to leave, he begs her not to tell the priest about any of it as he could lose his job.
As they leave the cemetery Artem tells the group about her discoveries but given the time of day they need to go see the Burgomaster before they can discuss going anywhere else. She leads them through the town to a large mansion. Approaching the house there appears to be plenty of people going in and out of it, carrying bundles of twigs. It takes the group a moment to find a maid to announce their arrival to but when they do they are shown into a den and offered refreshments.
Izi can sense magic coming from the upper floors but before the group have time to get into a discussion on how to approach the situation the Baron himself appears in the doorway, apologizing for keeping them waiting.
The Baron turns out to be polite, but not overly friendly. He offers Artem his condolences when she tells him that her father has passed away and that she is here to build a stronger relationship with the town of Vallaki. The Baron tells the group that he will be happy to see them stay for the festival. He explains that staying happy is what keeps Vallaki safe from dangers and that the festival is a way to ensure that the mood is kept light.
During a quiet moment Lucian says that he would love to take a look around the first floor of the house as he is interested in the architecture. The Baron agrees but to his surprise Lucian then gets up and leaves the room in the middle of the conversation, shortly followed by Izi and Wynne. Instantly, the Baron’s demeanour changes into clear suspicion of the intentions in visiting his home. Asha saves the situation by flattering the Baron, speaking well of his house and town while also mentioning that their companions are rude and not yet used to the customs of the land.
Before they leave Artem finds out that two of the members of staff, the Baron and Baroness’ personal attendants, have gone missing. The Baron explains that his wife is of the belief that the two might have eloped together.
Out in the hallway Wynne, Izi and Lucian have sensed not only necromantic magic but some form of undead in the house. Wynne wants to investigate upstairs, which they have told is for the family’s private quarters, but as Artem and Asha exit the den Artem tells them that they all need to leave before they overstay their welcome.
Leaving the mansion behind, the group make their way toward the stockyard and the general store. On the way they pass by guards taking down proclamations for the old festival and putting up new ones. These new signs are inviting people to THE FESTIVAL OF THE BLAZING SUN.
As they walk ahead, they suddenly hear a voice calling out, inviting them to come and buy some toys. Wynne and Lucian approach the man who wears a jester’s hat and welcomes them to Blinksy’s toys. He ushers them inside, seemingly eager to make a sale or two, but when he lays eyes on Artem his demeanour changes, saying only “Oh dear. It is you.” before retreating quickly into his shop.
Wynne and Lucian explore the fascinatingly grim toys while Blinksy shows them around. The toymaker seemingly tries his best to ignore Artem. Wynne meets a small monkey named Piccolo who Blinksy explains is not for sale since he was a gift from a traveller he met at the inn. When Wynne asks for something similar Blinksy offers to custom make her a toy shaped like a monkey. With Artem still hovering over him, he insists the party return in a couple of days when he has had the time to finish a custom toy.
Eventually, Blinksy is uncomfortable enough that he tries to stop Artem from walking into a certain section of the shop. Artem sidesteps him with ease and finds a doll that looks the spitting image of herself down to the seams of her coat. At first Blinksy refuses to tell the group more than that the doll was commissioned by someone he’s scared of, someone not nice, but Artem intimidates him enough to make him cave. Blinksy closes the blinds and doors to the shop before he explains that this is just one in a long row of dolls that he has made for Izek Strazni, captain of the Vallakian guard and the Baron’s right hand man. He doesn’t t know how Izek knows what Artem looks like but Izek threatens to kill him if he doesn’t keep making them. He says that Izek has a devil’s arm. Lucian shows Blinksy his own arm, his red skin covered in infernal scarring and Blinksy explains that Izek’s appendage is similar but looks more terrifying. Warming up to the group a little he also tells them that there are stories of bright lights shining from the attic of the Burgomaster’s house in the middle of the night. The toymaker then sends the group on their way, worried that their lingering will cause alarm. Before they leave he sticks a stuffed animal, a wolf pierced with arrows, in Wynne’s arms. She accepts this and leaves the shop with the others but rips the toy arrows out while they are walking along.
Arriving at the stockyard, Artem goes in search of a chicken while the others go to the general store. Lucian wishes to purchase a silver mirror but it turns out that the item is too pricey for either of them. When they head over to find Artem among the livestock they notice a carnival wagon that Lucian thinks looks more like the type he has seen in his travels than anything he has seen in Barovia so far.
In the nearby barn, Wynne helps Artem pick out a rooster to buy for her home in Barovia Village. After the purchase has been made Lucian asks Artem if she will come along and look at the wagon he saw outside since he thinks her appearance might be less alarming than his own.
And that is where we ended our session.