Where you have been, and (very briefly) what you did there

A) The team entered the castle. The entrance room has four statues of dragons overhead. The far doors open of their own accord as the team entered.


B) This is a dining room, with a banquet set out. At the far-west wall, a figure played the organ; turning around, it appeared to be von Zarovich. After an exchange of words, the figure disappeared and the room went dark.


C) The team went up one flight of stairs…


D) (blue line)… and into the office of “Lief Lipsiege”, von Zarovich’s accountant who could provide no useful information. The team tied him up and continued on, passing into…


E) (red line)… a throne room, in which they found nothing of interest. Going through a pair of double-doors to the east, they noticed human-life figures that turned out to be skeletons holding spears, pinned to each of the far walls. The skeletons appeared to be inert, and the team passed them, continuing east through a corridor ending in a pair of double doors.


F) The team found themselves on a long balcony overlooking a vast, rubble-strewn room. The room below was barely visible in the darkness. Seated in the thrones were a pair of hideous, decaying corpses that rose up and attacked the gang. After they defeated the creatures, the team tried to go down the stairs, but the staircase strained underfoot, so they abandoned the room and (green line) returned to the spiral staircase they had taken to get to this level, and went up one more floor.


G) The team ascended the stairs.


H) (blue line) In the alcoves just outside the stairs were two creatures, radiating pure evil, that the team were able to kill, but one hit that Drake took seemed to drain some of the life out of him. Gathering themselves together, they passed through the western doors…


I) … and into a long-empty room with a rotting tiered cake sitting on a large table. After a brief search, the team headed through a door north…


J) … and into a study with a roaring fire and an ancient painting hanging over the mantle; the woman in the painting was an exact likeness of Ireena. After a brief search, and an even briefer encounter with von Zarovich, the team went through the double-doors west …


K) … into a large bedroom. A young village girl named Gertruda was in the room, and questioning her only got her talking (and giggling) about how nice Strahd was, and how wonderful the castle was, and how she felt like a princess. She agreed to accompany the party, and they found a …


L) … bath chamber. Through curtained-windows in the back of the closet behind the bath chamber, they were able to see a wide exterior walkway. They (red line) exited thorugh a side door that took them back to the “cake-room”. They (red line) went back to the staircase and went up another level.


M) They arrived at a landing. Next to the door was an ancient portrait of an ancient man. The painting attacked with some kind of magical attack, but the team was able to defeat it and (blue line… and, no, you didn’t walk through the wall, I goofed with drawing the line) moved through the door into a small area filled with couches, chairs, and bookcases. Not finding the book they were looking for, the team conferred. Having grown suspicious of the villager Gertruda, they quickly and painlessly killed her (over the objections of Ireena and Sarah). They then entered the adjoining room; searching it, and the closet behind it, they found nothing and (red line) returned to the stairs, once again heading up.


N) They passed through the door, where a sense of pure evil was felt. The room in shambles was home to three cats; ignoring the animals, the gang entered what appeared to be a large pantry of sorts, storing jars of “eye of newt” and “hair of bat” and the like. Going through the next door, they found a coven of witches that attacked them with their magicks; the team defeated them and their feline associates. They did find a large book in this room, but clearly not the one they were looking for. They left it there, returned to the staircase, and continued their ascent.


O) They reached the top of the tower. Exposed to the rain and wind, they decided to avoid the slippery stone walkway to the north. They retreated back down the stairs all the way…


P) … (purple line) to the 2nd floor where the accountant was still bound and gagged; passing through that room, and the throneroom, they headed for the westernmost staircase…


Q) … where, on the landing, a suit of armor leapt out at them, swinging a mace wildly. The team braced for an attack, but quickly realized the armor was some kind of trick triggered by a pressure plate in the floor, and actually posed no threat. The team paused on this landing to regroup and reorganize, then continued on looking for the castle’s temple.


R) As they entered the great entry, they were attacked by an octet of stone gargoyles; as a result of the battle, four the creatures lay dead, the other four having fled. At this point, a Vampire Killer calling himself “Jhoe” joined the party. They went eastward…


S) ... through a corridor lined with a dozen statues, six on each side of the hall. They searched the hallway carefully, Anton recalling the gypsy prophesy that the book they were searching for would be “with the heroes”, but they found nothing. They careful went through the doors to the east …


T) … and found themselves in the castle’s temple area. In the room, on the altar, they found the journal of von Zarovich, which they took, and some kind of small statue, which they left. Behind hanging tapestries were two corridors heading west.


U) The northern passage led to a wooden staircase that they didn’t trust, so they proceeded to the southern hallway.


V) They attempted to go downwards, but 10’ down, the staircase was stopped by a solid wall of masonry. They returned to the temple, then back into the hallway, doing an extremely thorough search of the statues. After the search, Ireena recalled that the statue they had seen on the altar was a legendary holy icon of great power. Returning to the temple...the icon was gone. They went (and I didn’t draw a line for this trip) back through the hallway to the spiral staircase (at “C”) they had used to go upwards...this time, going down...


W) .. and wound up in a corrider a meter-deep in water. At this point, the team split up, with Mel, Ilya, and Anton proceeding into the water-filled corridor, and the others returning to the temple. As the trio walked down the corridor, some kind of magical trap was sprung, and they found themselves…


X) ... locked in a prison cell in 5 feet of water. Von Zarovich appeared and taunted them, then left. The trio used thermite to escape their cell. They returned to the staircase that they had begun on (at “W”), and, following “charted territory”, took the stairs up to the main floor and back to the temple. While in the great hall, they were ambushed (and they defeated) three vampires; and afterwards, a trio of villagers (and their dog) attached themselves to group, following them to the temple.


In the meantime, another stranger, a blue-skilled humanoid with pointed ears, had appeared in the temple. Calling himself “Dan”, he and the team agreed to ally themselves against the vampire Strahd.


The team decided to retreat from the castle and return to the village to regroup, but the four dragon “statues” they saw perched in the entrance way (at “A”) came to life, and they decided not to risk fighting the intimidating creatures. They went back to the chapel to replan. Looking for a prophecized item of great power that was to be found in a tower, they decided to go back up to (at “O”) the top of the tower they had already scaled and cross over the stone walkway to the adjoining tower. They crossed over…


Y) … and killed a heart-looking thing that seemed to be shaking the tower, then went up the staircase to …


Z) … the top of the tower. There, they found that Dan was the one who had taken the icon; he gives it to the party, and the party gives him Strahd’s Journal to see if he could get more out if than they could. They searched the room, and found several items including a large medallion in the shape of the sun.


While in the tower, a large number of zombie-type things climbed the stairs towards them, but a judicious use of firepower prevented any of them of making it all the way up. The team was also hassled by a large swarm of bats, who annoyed them but did no damage. Von Zarovich then showed up and seemed to hypnotize several of the individuals, including one of the villagers who Anton shot and killed. Von Zarovich left angrily. Dan was nowhere to be found.


And here you are. (Good thing, too, as I am out of letters.)