Curse of Strahd: GM Prep (Spoilers – Ep. 7)

The Curse of Strahd streams live on Twitch Wednesdays, 4-7pm EST.

Here are the notes from Will’s DM prep session that chat helped build!

EPISODE SEVEN: HARVEST OF INNOCENCE

Handout – In the caves they find notes of their experiments pertaining to Miles from within the Flesh Golem.

Journal4

Journal5

The Ritual: Harvest of Innocence

They need to travel back to Barovia but they have no way of doing so. An Arcana check reveals that the notes which they find in the cave are a ritual which can teleport them back to the realm of Barovia.

Several of the ingredients lie around the cave, and those ticked off the list are in a cupboard nearby.

The Holy Water was previously acquired in Episode 6 from Dapper the Butler, Enryn carries it. Tears of a Widower are also in one of Enryn’s vials taken from the Dream Hags called “Mother’s Milk”. There’s a Vampire Spawn in the corner of the room, they can remove his tooth to get it.

The Tiefling eye can only be acquired through Diligence.

Alternative: the Tielfling girl trapped in the cage – already only has one eye from previous ritual castings. They can free her or take the other eye. If they kill her, she will haunt them!

Upon completing the ritual they are taken to Barovia to follow Baby Lysanga.

 

Barovia:
Flees to the Church in Barovia where Donavich the Priest is.

On the hilltop they see the Church where black clouds gather ominously. She begins to brew up a new plague to send out into the village of Barovia.

Scene of Baby Lysanga striking the Pact with Strahd – vision sent by Madame Eva. Baby Lysanga is teleported to the village of Barovia via the tree.

Attempts to slow the Party down with the corpses of the children in the fields.

They are still stuck in Lysanga however, and must find their way out back to Barovia. The big crucifix tree can take them back to Barovia.

This town has been infected by her plague and people are starting to fall ill. They can ask around for word of Baby Lysanga but no one knows where she is at this point. Donavich tells them that there have been many people falling ill in the village and a sickness has started to fester here. There are people in the Church whom he is caring for but they are getting worse.
Plague Spread
Plague spread through the water system, and if they follow the trace it leads back to the Church.

What happens to the Plague Victims?
Fatigue, bones weakened, skin lesions, bloated stomachs ← something comes out

Adults begin to behave like children. Playing children’s games, holding dolls, acting petulantly, haunting giggle. They hear childlike voices in their heads. They rely on Father Donavich as a father figure. They begin to take on the appearance of children the worse it gets.

At the peak of the disease, the victims are killed and give birth to unholy children with no eye sockets and deformed bodies with gaping mouths. These demon babies are hungry and alien-style rip out of their hosts, eating their way out. They become bloated when they eat. Relatively easy to defeat when born, but after a day they become much more formed and dangerous, intelligent.

Plague word bank:
Supprucating, pulsing, festering, gangrenous, writhing maggot ridden, seeping, oozing, fetid, blood laced sweat, rancid, gloppy ooze, pungent, undulating, effervesce

Baby Lysanga’s Location
Baby Lysanga is in the attic of the Church, creating her plague from the rafters.

She herself is greatly wounded and weakened, relying upon the Demon babies to defend her while she stirs her cauldron.

Plague Affects PCs
The Players are not immune to the plague, and begin to show symptoms. They have already been infected during the Encounter.

Diligence and Enryn in particular is weak to this, being adults.

They start to have childish impulses, behave like children and start to become bloated themselves the longer this continues.

The Water System
Upon inspecting the central well in Barovia, going down shows that the supply is fetid and stinking and there is channel which can be traversed which leads back to the church.

In this tunnel they are visited by the creepy girl again (Abigail, before she was a Flesh golem) and Insanity checks ensue! Also the dead boy Johnny and sister Sarah from Ep. 6 arrives to haunt them.

THE LYSANGA PLAGUE INSANITY TABLE:

1d20
1-2 Starts to hum creepy child lullaby
3 – 4 Fear of the Dark
5 -6 Fear that your parent is going to abandon you
7- 8 Tries to engage Party member with a child’s game
9 – 10 Strong impulse to move around at child’s height.
11 – 12 Intense craving for sweets.
13 – 14 Loss of impulse control.
15 – 16 Crying uncontrollably/tantrum
17 – 18 Intense giggling/random laughter
19 – 20 Imaginary friend appears, tells them to do bad things.

 

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Curse of Strahd: GM Prep (Spoilers – Ep. 6)

The Curse of Strahd streams live on Twitch Wednesdays, 4-7pm EST.

Here are the notes from Will’s DM prep session that chat helped build!

EPISODE SIX: THE FIELDS OF LYSANGA
There was a plague created by Baby Lysanga which infected this town, Lysanga. After they failed to help her with her own deformed child, Abigail, she sought revenge. The townsfolk were wary of the Witch and refused to help her. She then struck a deal with Strahd Von Zarovich in return for her loyalty. It affected the adults, causing them to fall sick and become unable to work. They were forced to send out their children into the fields of Lysanga and work in their stead in order to feed the town. Slowly the children became ill themselves and tied to the fields, unable to leave. As they died working, Baby Lysanga captured their souls/energy in order to grow her own children. Her children are the Scarecrows which feed on the souls of the children in their graves.

The Scarecrows are erected atop the shallow graves, and the corn roots go down below to leech off of the soul energy. Their bodies are made of straw but instead of heads they have crucified ravens instead. Below the surface of the Earth lies Baby Lysanga’s trueborn child – the one which the townsfolk of Lysanga refused to help before. She has stitched together different body parts of children to recreate a twisted version of her own.

Abigail is now a flesh golem, formed of different body parts of the children of the townsfolk and kept alive with a mixture of leaching the soul energy via the Scarecrows, and blood.

HOOK:
The Party are travelling, when they find themselves lost in green fog and mist. When they finally exit, they find themselves on the outskirts of a deserted town. All the houses are empty and abandoned, but there are skeletons here, but only of adult corpses. The town itself smells of death, there’s a wooden log used as a playpark by the children, and a defensive wall fallen down from decay. Giant tree in the centre of town, dead, with thousands of ravens perched upon it. Pungent smell of iron from the blood. Body of adult pinned to the tree with a wooden child’s toy driven into the heart, with a sign reading “Turn Back” upon it.

In one of the Houses they find a Journal of one of the workers from Lysanga. It explains the growing illness and plague which came after they stopped helping the local Witch “Baby Lysanga” with her own deformed child.

They find Journal Entries (see below)

journal1

journal2

journal3

THE FIELDS:
They come to the Fields of Lysanga where Miles (child) hears another child’s voice crying out. Walking through the fields, they see the Scarecrows with the crucified raven’s bodies stitched on as a head. At the foot of one, lies a bloody, rotten teddy bear. They get the distinct feeling that they are being watched. Looking back at a scarecrow shows them that they turn to watch them move.

At the foot of each Scarecrow is a shallow grave, revealing slightly rotting bodies of the children. Arcana/Nature/Medicine checks reveal that there is some form of connection between the roots of the Scarecrows and the children, likely some some of parasitic bond.

Every time a Scarecrow is killed, they hear the agonized scream of a child.

The voice coming from below pleads to Miles to come and save her. She sounds young and in distress, and can show him to a cave entrance.

 

THE CAVES:
Encounter with Abigail the Flesh Golem and Baby Lysanga.

The cave entrance is strewn with children’s toys and discarded straw dolls. There appears to be only one way down and the tunnel itself is only 5 ft. high, meaning taller characters have to stoop and are at Disadvantage for Attack and Dex. based rolls. The dolls appear to turn to look at them as they walk past deeper into the cavern. Worms writhe underneath their feet and crawl through the walls.

Abigail:
Dual Personalities. One is her child-like form, the other is possessed by the Devil Strahd.

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The Curse of Strahd

The Curse of Strahd streams live on Twitch Wednesdays, 4-7pm EST.

“Under raging storm clouds, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich stands silhouetted against the ancient walls of Castle Ravenloft. The wind’s howling increases as he turns his gaze down toward the village of Barovia. […] The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner – and you are invited!” (Wizards of the Coast)

Adventurers

Enron Cold (Mathematic) – Human, Ranger, lvl 5
Miles (Garreth) – Halfling, Bard, lvl 5
Diligence (Leigh) – Tiefling, Warlock, lvl 5

 

Summary
The Curse of Strahd is a Wizards of the Coast campaign module for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. You can find more campaign details and information on how to get your own copy here! Encounter Roleplay has not received any sponsoring to play this module – we just love it!

Watch the full Episodes here!

 

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