Halloween Hootenanny XI — Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition — Death House

Game summary for October 15, 2016, Death House Ravenloft adventure, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Byril Nmembe (Human Barbarian played by Chris Harmon), Cecil Smirth (Human Bard played by Parker Harmon), Grigor Ivanov (Human Fighter played by Preston Harmon), Michna Passler (Half-Elf Warlock played by Casey Scruggs), Monera Soom (Human Paladin played by Andrew Renfrow), Popin Hillhorn (Halfling Cleric played by Shane Bradley), Rategar Greenleaf (Elf Ranger played by Taylor Averdick), and Thoradin Brawnanvil (Dwarf Rogue played by Kaliegh Belda). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

This was a one-shot game for our six-hour Halloween Hootenanny gaming event.  We played the Death House adventure set in the Ravenloft campaign setting using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset.

The party awoke in their wooded camp to discover overnight they had transported to an unknown section of woodlands.  They stumbled through the fog until they entered a small village or town with the fog closing in on all sides.  Ahead they saw a pair of children, a boy and girl, who appeared distraught.  The children told them a monster was in their house with their parents and baby brother.  The team carefully entered the house to investigate.  They entered and found strange images hidden in the artwork as they explored the area.  In the kitchen, the team discovered a dumbwaiter and sent Popin up to explore.  He found a servant quarters and what he believed to be the master bedroom.

The team advanced up the stairs eventually encountering a suit of haunted armor that viciously attacked!  They likewise found a broom in a closet that beat them brutally as well.  In a bedroom they found a nursery and were attacked by a specter of a servant woman.  Popin drove her back with his turn undead as the team swarmed in and cut her down.

The team discovered a library and a hidden door.  They learned of some kind of group or cult mocked by some man named Strahd von Zarovich.  The group continued upstairs through a secret passage into the attic.  Behind a padlocked door, they found two dead bodies… children.  The spirits of two kids appeared and possessed two of the party members.  The team learned of some of the horrors that occurred in this house including the abandonment and starving of the kids.  The team carefully packed up of the skeletal remains with hopes of finding a way to lay them to rest.  In another room, stuffed in a trunk, they found the body of the kids’ nanny.

With information they gleaned examining the dollhouse in the kids’ room, the team found a secret door and went down a spiral staircase into a dungeon beneath the house.  Down here they found several crypts and were able to lay all the children to rest.  The team then encountered a roaming grick and killed it in a pitched fight down in the dungeon.

The team was later ambushed by ghouls in the darkness.  The creatures were unable to paralyze any of the team, but they landed a few good shots.  The group discovered a shrine with a statue of Strahd.  They also found a secret door leading back up into the house.  The team roamed around to find a bedroom occupied by the ghastly undead remnants of Gustav and Elisabeth Durst!  A harsh battle erupted, but Monera Soom’s divine energy ended up putting down both ghasts.  The team scraped up the remains and buried them in the crypts.

Eventually the team made it down into the bowels of the dungeon and found a huge partially flooded chamber.  Rategar threw Popin into the water!  The angry halfling stood up in the 2-foot water.  Byril jumped in and climbed up the dais with Rategor to examine a sacrificial altar at the top.  Ghostly figures surrounded the party demanding a sacrifice!  The team refused, and Grigor toppled the altar!  A massive creature began to arise from the muck, and the team fled back up the stairs and into the house.  They found the windows boarded up, the house filling with poison smoke, and scything blades protecting every exit!  Several of the team were able to leap through the blades to safety.  Others were grievously wounded!  Two of the party were trapped inside and dying when Rategar uttered an old gypsy charm against hexes and temporarily stopped the blades long enough for the team to extract their friends.  As they left the house, the sun rose, fog lifted, and the house seemed to age and get decrepit.  They turned to look at the town around them and noticed a sign in the grass.  It read “Death House.  Don’t talk to the children.”