Curse of Strahd (2017)

Overview

Curse of Strahd (2017) was a Dungeons & Dragons campaign originally adapted and presented by Anna Purna Arts (now Group Blue) and ran by Andrew Nguyen.

This summary and epilogue has been adapted from its original form.

What the Critics Say

“God bless…” - Pope Benedict XVI

“Champange!” - Literally everyone

Synopsis

Under raging storm clouds, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich stands silhouetted against the ancient walls of Castle Ravenloft. Rumbling thunder pounds the castle spires. The wind’s howling increases as he turns his gaze down toward the village of Barovia. A lightning flash rips through the darkness, but Strahd is gone. Only the howling of the wind fills the midnight air. The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner—and you are invited.

The Storm Riders: New Barovia

With great effort, the adventurers managed to break free from the grasp of Strahd von Zarovich and his castle. But not before learning of the terrible secrets of Barovia…

The adventurers learn that Strahd, who was madly in love with Ireena Kolyana, was disparate to take her hand in marriage in order to further his kingdom. When she refused, he fell into a maddening rage and – with great magic, ripped Barovia out of existence and into a pocket dimension. Taking both Ireena and all of her people, Strahd banished Barovia out of known time and space.

Named as the Curse of Strahd by the Barovian people, Barovia miserably became the servants of Strahd himself. Ireena, however, was imprisoned in a crystal stasis pod and then was sealed inside of Strahd’s castle, in its largest and tallest spire. Citizens would say that they could sometimes hear a heartbeat emanating from it. Whether it was Strahd’s or Ireena’s: no one knew.

As centuries passed, Strahd would use his powers in order to lure unsuspecting adventurers into his realm and then curse them to his undead army. As an unexplained and inexplicably terrifying undead army rose: Barovians became desperately hopeless about what their futures could and would become.

Once upon a time, a new set of adventurers would arrive that would unexpectedly surprise Strahd. He watched in awe as they would manage to defeat the Death House and free the spirits within it – something that was thought impossible for centuries.

The adventurers: The One Only Known as Jet, Jorrey Sanfeld, Kellen Strive, Kirk Tenebris, Ophelia Morrel, Sir Poopsalot, The Holy Father Zaakarion, Princess Bubblebutt, and Doctor Rocket Science Golden Retriever would come to meet Madam Eva after escaping the Death House with shining victory.

Madam Eva was trapped in the house as the spirit of a little girl. She would go on to explain that – beginning at a very young age, she was a Barovian who was part of the resistance against Strahd. For centuries, Madam Eva had dedicated her life to the learning of the spell that Strahd had used to cast Barovia away. As soon as Madam Eva completed the spell’s intricacies – essentially mastering it, Strahd cursed her and her family to the Death House, forcing them to live and relive leading adventurers to their deaths for years and years upon years. Madam Eva and her family would die in that house repeatedly, and the spell that could save them all would always come and go: never to be casted with the desire of freeing Barovia.

Grateful for the adventurers help, but reluctant that this was still a trick of Strahd, Madam Eva sent the adventurers off towards Strahd’s castle in order to prove their worthiness.

Before the castle however, she required that they meet up with Alona Kolyana, Ireena’s sister: both of whom are powerful and old paladins descended from a line of royal aasimars. An adventurer, Jorrey Sanfeld, would quietly learn about this fact while in one of the castle’s bedchambers. He would keep this to himself.

Meanwhile, the rest of the adventurers would learn that Alona has been secretly leading the resistance against Strahd, and that she has been building runes around Barovia in order to prevent Strahd from using his greater magic.

Unfortunately, the adventurers also learn that Strahd has been poisoning the people of Barovia, including Alona, and have inflicted upon them a terrible and dark disease. Alona believes that Strahd intends to create a whole hereditary army of the undead from the corpses and children of Barovia. For what reason however, she has yet to figure out.

After a perilous and questionable escape from Strahd’s castle, the adventurers manage to free Ireena. This earns Madam Eva’s trust and she begins to teach the adventurers her spell: a peculiar spell known as Plane Shift.

They learn that the spell would require great concentration, Madam Eva’s raven charm, and a seafaring ship marked with a sigil sequence. Madam Eva goes on further to explain that the raven charm and the sigil sequence will allow them to transport all of the Barovian people to a realm where they can seek help from a friend. A friend and a realm far away from Strahd’s grasp, or so she believes.

The adventurers and the people of Barovia build a sea-worthy ship and begin setting sail east, on the river Ivlis towards the stormy edges of the pocket dimension.

Braving the unnaturally terrible storm, they reach the eye of the storm and the adventurers begin casting the spell. A clockwise sequence of sigils begin appearing and glowing around the ship.

As the sixth sigil completes its light, Strahd appears from the shadows without warning, in his own ship, with his undead army.

Kirk Tenebris, an old and wise warlock, convinces the other adventurers to break their concentrations and to fight off the undead army with the bravest fighters of Barovia. He would desperately continue to finish the spell on his own.

The New Barovians and the adventurers fend of Strahd’s army with great vigor and hope, but as the ninth of twelfth sigil completes, Strahd steps in and imprisons the adventurers in crystal stasis pods – the same type of pod that Ireena was trapped in – after a great and exhaustive battle.

As crystal tendrils get a hold of Kirk, Alona and Ireena take the battle to Strahd himself – revealing their true assimaric forms – distracting him and freeing Kirk, who continues the spell with greater vigor and urgency.

As the twelfth sigil begins, bursts of pillared lights appear in the distance. Alona and Ireena realize that multiple runes have been broken, and Strahd sends a dark tendril straight through Alona’s heart. He then imprisons Ireena in a stasis pod as Alona falls into the ocean depths below.

With his last breath in the pocket dimension, and Strahd’s darkness crashing down upon New Barovia, Kirk desperately bursts open a portal and the ship whisks through the dimensional door. The remaining adventurers perilously hold back Strahd and his undead army.

Strahd curses wildly as the portal closes behind New Barovia and the ship careens through the dimensional storms in the colorful and chaotic passage.

A few mere moments later, the storm lets up and the ship suddenly appears in calm and clear waters…

Written by

Chris Perkins

Edited by

Kim Mohan
Jeremy Crawford

Art Director

Kate Irwin

Presented by

Anna Purna Arts

Dungeon Master

Andrew Nguyen

Players & Player Characters

A huge thank you…

I could not have done it without you all!

The One Known Only as Jet

Played by

Taylor V.

Achievements

Most Likely to Turn into a Tree

Jorrey Sanfeld

Played by

Chris B.

Achievements

  • Most Likely To Have a Good Time, Regardless of the Current Situation
  • Found the Perfect Instrument: His Own Heart; Cured his Wife of over 50 years, Lorrey

Kellen Strive

Played by

John G.

Achievements

  • Best Attendance Record

Kirk Tenebris

Played by

James P.

Achievements

  • Founding Father of New Barovia
  • A Warlock Who Uses Something Other Than Just Eldritch Blast

Ophelia Morell

Played by

Ève D.

Achievements

  • Found a Job for Her Unseen Servant
  • Started a Successful Barrel Store

Sir Poopsalot

Played by

Chloe S.

Achievements

  • Shit on Strahd von Zarovich’s Throne

The Holy Father Zaakarion

Played by

Zaakary B.

Achievements

  • Stayed True To His Faith; Shunned Sinners

Princess Bubblebutt

Played by

Sydney S.

Achievements

  • Won Reelection in Her Kingdom

Doctor Rocket Science Golden Retriever

Played by

Mandy E.

Achievements

  • Helped Further Rocket Science…

Ambiance by

Tabletop Audio

Music by

Toby Fox

Thanks for playing!

See you next time…