We rose early and left town as soon as possible, not wanting Ireena to be found. Donavich rode, sleeping, on Ricktavio’s horse. We were making good progress, but then we were beset by wolves just outside of Valaki. These being servants of Strahd, it was vital that we dispose of them all before any could report to their master, so while the three of us fought the main pack, my summoned Thylacines would pursue any who tried to break away from the pack. Thankfully, all were dealt with.
We got into Vallaki at midday to find that there had been a message for me while I was gone. I was invited to dine with Lady Wachtir that night. Donavich was put in the dorm to sleep some more, while Ireena and I took Radovan out, bought a picnic lunch and a crossbow, and while Ireena taught Radovan to shoot, I lay nearby studying Van Richten’s guide for more clues as to how to protect Ireena from her nightly stalker.
I went to Lady Wachtir’s naturally wary, and with good reason. She had invited me over so that we could talk about taking down the Burgomeister and his henchman Izek, the large brute I had seen earlier with a beefy red arm that apparently can throw fire. I told her I would have to deal with Izek anyway, because he had been ordering dolls of Ireena from Blinski. I didn’t want to straight out say to her that I was going to kill him, that wasn’t my intention. So I edged around the promise and just said that I would deal with him. She, apparently, has plans to deal with the burgomeister.
I left and decided, since I had been relaxing most of the afternoon, to sneak into the house of the burgomeister and scope out what I could. Besides a fairly normal mansion, I saw a few things of interest: the Baroness was feeding a dining table full of poor guests; Izek’s room was full wall to wall with shelves of dolls of Ireena; and there was a man chained up in a closet! I was in the form of a spider, and the burgomeister and his two mastiffs were in the next room, so I could not help him just yet. Instead I stole five dolls and made my way back to the inn.
When I got back Danica at the bar told me Izek had been in there asking about Ireena. This, and the dolls, was upsetting to Ireena, but she kept her cool. I let the others know about the prisoner, and we all agreed we should save him, and about Lady Wachtir’s plan. I tried to explain that I wasn’t trying to directly help her, but I don’t think they quite saw the point of what I was trying to do, which was not get on her bad side. But the reason why I had stolen the dolls was to put Izek on edge and make him know that someone knew his little secret.
The last thing we did before sleeping was cut and dye Ireena’s hair. I feel sorry for asking her to do so, but it seems only sensible.
The next morning I took the team to the church to meet the Vallaki priest. It turns out it was a good thing we went there, because the bones of St Andril had gone missing, which meant that the church was no longer a sanctuary from creatures of darkness. While Donavich questioned the priest and I interviewed the youngest servant of the church, Ireena was the one who got the furthest the fastest, by questioning the teenage servant who was working in the garden. Turns out he had stolen the bones and had taken them to the carpenter Henrik.
So we went towards the carpenter’s but did not make it, for Izek and his gang of six guards found us. He tried to have us arrested on trumped-up charges of spreading unhappiness. I couldn’t stand for it, I didn’t want Ireena to be alone with this pervert. So we fought. I held them off by first summoning a collection of constrictors, but when they broke through and Izek picked up Ireena and ran with her, I had to summon my handy thylacines and join them in that form myself. The guards were quickly downed, though not killed, for I knew they were only doing what I felt they had to. My thylacines and I caught up quickly with our quarry and Donavich looked after Ireena and Radovan while we harried Izek. Soon he was down.
I managed to get only this out of him – that Ireena was in his dreams, and that was all. I was taking him through the town to put him on trial. The townsfolk seemed very happy with what we had done. The guards however seemed as if they could go either way. I tried to talk to them to make them see that the tides were changing. I think I spoke too forcefully, because the next thing I knew, a guard murdered Izek and incited a riot towards the burgomeister’s house.
Soon Lady Wachtir was at the crest of that wave. As I could see it, there was only one good thing we could salvage from the situation, as so as the villagers set the mansion on fire, we got in amongst all the looters and all we did was freed the prisoner. Turns out he was only there for mocking the burgomeister. I’m not sure that’s enough for him to be killed over – Lady Wachtir intends for him to burn tomorrow in the festival – but I’m glad his nasty rule is over.
After a rest we went to the carpenters. I had to break the door down but the poor man was beside himself. There were vampires nesting in his attic! Having no time to prep, we decided we would not attempt to take them on. Instead, I asked Radovan to accompany him back to the inn, and we salvaged the bones, his savings, and a suitcase of his belongings before we left.
We returned the bones to the church, and then I let the others return to the inn. I went alone to Lady Wachtir’s and asked her to spare the life of the Baroness. Thankfully, she saw the wisdom in my words – the baroness was loved by many of the poor, and so surely a pardon and sending her away would be better for everyone. However the burgomeister would burn. I walked back to the tavern to receive further bad news: I am invited to dine with Strahd himself tomorrow night.